Picture of Raphael J. Sonenshein

Raphael J. Sonenshein

Tough slog ahead for implementing affordable care

If Barack Obama is re-elected as president, the overriding purpose of his second term will be the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Implementation and the use of executive power have not been Obama’s strengths, but he is going to have to get better very quickly. A powerful presidency mixes the “bully pulpit” with a maximum use of the president’s authority, from conception of a policy to its implementation.

Can California be saved?

We Californians love to use direct democracy to perform amateur surgery on our state government. As heirs to a century-old tradition of progressive reform, we believe that if we tinker with the rules, we will get much better outcomes.

Advice from the Governator

It has been less than a decade since Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger won the special election to recall and replace Gov. Gray Davis. Schwarzenegger finished nearly 1.5 million votes ahead of the second-place gubernatorial candidate, Democrat Cruz Bustamante. Schwarzenegger won the votes of 43 percent of women, 31 percent of Latinos, 42 percent of union members and 18 percent of Democrats, according to the CBS/Edison/Mitofksy poll. At the same time, Schwarzenegger won the great majority of Republican voters, who turned out in large numbers.

Social issues keep Jews from supporting the GOP

In the midst of the never-ending debate about whether this will be the election that moves Jews to the right, an intriguing new poll is just out from the Public Religion Research Institute. Titled “Chosen for What? Jewish Values in 2012,” it found that 62 percent of Jews want to see President Barack Obama re-elected, compared to 30 percent who favor a Republican candidate.

Opinion: Jeremy Lin, the Jews and redistricting

I was too young to see Hank Greenberg play. That was my father’s generation. But growing up in New Jersey, I well remember the day when Sandy Koufax, playing for the Dodgers, announced his electrifying decision to sit out a 1965 World Series game on Yom Kippur. Koufax’s action was a great source of pride to a Jewish kid with a baseball glove perennially at hand and who had heard way too many jokes about the thin book of Jewish sports heroes.

Americans would do well to drop the Euro-snobbery

Sitting here in Paris, where I am spending a month as a visiting professor at the Université Paris 8, Institut Français de Géopolitique, I’m struck by how, once again, American presidential candidates are denigrating their opponents simply by calling them “French” or “European.”

Obama and Villaraigosa: The not-so-odd couple

At President Barack Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress a week ago, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sat in an honored seat near first lady Michelle Obama.

Beyond raising the debt limit: What a Republican government would be like

The battle over raising the debt limit has raised a lot of concern about how Republicans act as an opposition party. They have shown that they are willing to risk crashing the economy to get their way with a Democratic president. But they won’t be in opposition forever. We have to start thinking about what they would be like if they were actually in charge.


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