August 22, 2011 Before Congress created a supercommittee tasked with finding a way to slice $1 trillion from the federal deficit, California Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra said Social Security should be protected. Now that he's on the panel, he's going to have to work with Republicans who might not agree.
August 7, 2011 When Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating, it cited a lack of bipartisanship as one major reason. Lawmakers' reactions to S&P's move, at least on the Sunday news talk shows, may have illustrated that point.
July 21, 2011 Thousands of assaults occur each year at California's state psychiatric hospitals. Last year, a staffer was killed at Napa State Hospital. Employees there demonstrated, demanding greater safety. Now, protests have spread to a hospital near Los Angeles, where workers say it's not if you get assaulted, it's when.
June 17, 2011 President Obama took his licks from progressives who are meeting at the Netroots Nation Convention, the annual gathering of liberal bloggers and other social media activists. Despite some gains, panelists agreed it hasn't turned out so well for progressives on health care or financial reform or the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
April 19, 2011 There has been a dramatic increase in violence at California's state psychiatric hospitals. A patient at Napa State Hospital died there last week, less than six months after an employee was killed. The state's secretary of Health and Human Services has lifted a hiring freeze to add more clinical and security staff.
April 8, 2011 Atascadero State Hospital in central California was built to treat criminals who are mentally ill. But since 2006, assaults on staff have risen markedly. Employees blame the increase on a federally enforced plan that they say requires them to spend more time on paperwork than treating patients.