University of California

How Gross Is My Valley
June 30, 2010

The tiny farmworker outcropping of Kettleman City is located in California’s Central Valley, a 400-mile-long swath of some of the world’s most productive agricultural land. The town of about 1,500 is bordered on three sides by crops, including almond trees and tomato plants, that extend for 20 miles. Populated mostly by Mexican immigrants and lacking sidewalks and gutters, Kettleman City is a poor place that usually doesn’t draw attention.

Climate Legislation--Narrow or Broad, It Will Still Slight Innovation
June 29, 2010

So as President Obama convenes senators for a come-to-Jesus moment this morning on energy and climate legislation it looks like Senate proponents of an economy-wide cap-and-trade climate bill are preparing to settle for a narrower emissions cap in the electric power sector. Yet another concession to lawmakers' skittishness about pricing carbon, the scaled-back approach will not please the absolutist but it does have the virtue of realism. It always seemed a bit of a fantasy that a comprehensive carbon pricing scheme could reach 60 votes in the Senate this year.

Double Take
May 03, 2010

Miguel Estrada seemed to be a shoo-in for the federal bench. Nominated by George W. Bush to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2001 when he was just 39, Estrada was born in Honduras. He arrived in the United States as a teenager speaking little English and went on to graduate from Harvard Law School and clerk for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He then worked at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, arguably the most prestigious law firm in the nation, and, later, as an Assistant U.S.

More Medicaid Means More Jobs
April 11, 2010

Anthony Wright is executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. He blogs daily at the Health Access Weblog and is a regular contributor to the Treatment. While there are several benefits from health reform that kick in this year, the common understanding is that the core coverage expansions will not take place until 2014.

The Stevens Myth
April 07, 2010

Legal circles have been abuzz for the last eight months with the news that Justice John Paul Stevens had hired only one law clerk to begin working this summer. This move, Supreme Court watchers observed, strongly suggested that Stevens’s thirty-fifth term at the Court would be his last. As journalists and scholars begin contemplating his place in history, Stevens himself has not-so-subtly attempted to burnish his judicial legacy. In a series of interviews over the last few years, Stevens has repeatedly attempted to portray his views as fundamentally unaltered since he joined the Court.

John Campbell Does Not Fear The Turtle
March 17, 2010

I don't usually wring my hands about partisanship, but this, per Luke Russert, is pretty extreme: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer offered a resolution to honor the University of Maryland for making the NCAA Tournament and for having the ACC Player of the Year, as well as the Coach of the Year on the same team. Well, California Rep.

The Mogul Empire
March 06, 2010

Irving Thalberg: Boy Wonder to Producer Prince By Mark A. Vieira (University of California Press, 504 pp., $34.95)  There are times of such chaos and promise, danger and daydream, when all of us hope for a superb and flawless leader. If he can swing it, we are off the hook. But he need not be a hero who turns into a tyrant. He is not necessarily strong, fierce, and Herculean. Indeed, it may add to his charm, to his magic, if he is slight, youthful, on the pretty side, and--better still--dying.

Free Speech On Campus
February 10, 2010

One of my fond memories from being an undergraduate in the early 1990s was the fervent conviction of the campus left that their opponents were not entitled to express their beliefs. Some of the more erudite among them, like Catherine MacKinnon, would formulate elaborate theories explaining why freedom of speech was a pernicious myth. But mostly the opinion took the form of slogans. Racism is not free speech. Sexism is not free speech.

Football and concussions
December 31, 2009

  I’m a big fan of Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins. Unlike her colleague Michael Wilbon, she was willing to expose the utter incompetence of Michael Jordan as a sports executive during the time he ran the Washington Wizards. So I was willing to be convinced when I saw her column this morning defending Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach who was fired for punishing a player for sitting out practice after incurring a concussion. But I have to say that she lost me in the first paragraph.

Industry Clusters: A Rural Boon?
December 02, 2009

With a House-Senate “conference” committee soon to decide whether to create a truly valuable regional industry clusters initiative, misconceptions linger. Some rurally oriented conferees fear that cluster strategies pertain exclusively to urban development and leave rural America out. Others fret that cluster initiatives point exclusively toward high technology growth. However, none of the doubters need worry.