Sen. Kamala Harris is increasingly positioning herself for a what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary for the White House in 2020. The former California attorney general, who is just at the beginning of her second year in the Senate, is taking positions that could endear herself with the Democratic base while allowing her to stand out from a group of Democrats who might seek the progressive mantle. Harris voted against a Senate immigration bill backed by centrists from both parties earlier this month, waiting until the last minute to break with other liberals such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who both backed the measure. Political observers say it is clear that Harris is laying the groundwork and setting herself up to make a run for the White House, if she chooses. read more
Goldman Sachs sees a tidal wave of red ink -- and it may drag the U.S. economy into its undertow. Federal deficit spending is headed toward "uncharted territory," the firm said on Sunday, suggesting that the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans may not be able to count on the economic boost of tax reform for very longer. In the wake of an ambitious infrastructure plan and a budget that drew fire from virtually all sides, Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients that the federal deficit would reach 5.2 percent of U.S. growth by 2019, and would "continue climbing gradually from there."
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom shouldn't be called the front-runner anymore in the race for California governor. Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has essentially caught up. "It's a virtual toss," says Mark Baldassare, president and pollster of the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. Newsom's once significant lead over fellow Democrat Villaraigosa has slowly eroded and the two are now statistically tied, based on a new PPIC poll of likely voters. How'd that happen? Latinos are flocking to Villaraigosa, the poll shows. And this could be the year that Latinos actually vote in powerful numbers, inspired by their disdain of President Trump's rants about illegal immigration. read more
For those who think California politics is on the far-left fringe of the national spectrum, stand by. The next election season, already well underway here, will showcase a younger generation of Democrats that is more liberal and personally invested in standing up to President Trump's Washington than those leaving office. Here in the self-labeled "state of resistance," the political debate is being pushed further left without any sign of a Republican renaissance to serve as a check on spending and social policy ambitions. Even some Republicans are concerned about the departure of Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who proved to be fiscally cautious after inheriting a state seven years ago in deep recession. read more
The FBI, the White House, and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee were embroiled in a public standoff Wednesday over the expected release of a Republican memo criticizing the bureau's use of secret surveillance orders. In a highly unusual move, the FBI issued a statement challenging the classified memo's anticipated release, saying: "We have grave concerns about the material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact" its accuracy. It is highly unusual for the White House and the FBI to be publicly at odds over a matter of national security, and it was unclear what impact the disagreement might have on the standing of FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, two Trump appointees who went to the White House on Monday to urge that the memo not be released.