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Moody's says Calif. pension fix is positive step -- Moody's is calling California's pension reform plan a positive development for the state and local governments. Associated Press -- 9/10/12

Jarvis group's new ad calls Jerry Brown's tax bid 'snake oil' -- The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is airing a new radio ad calling Gov. Jerry Brown's ballot initiative to raise taxes "snake oil," arguing Proposition 30 would provide no new funding for schools. David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert$ -- 9/10/12

Following drug arrest, Nadia Lockyer wins right to visit son -- Nadia Lockyer, the former Bay Area supervisor and estranged wife of California's state treasurer, will be allowed to visit her 9-year-old following her drug arrest in Orange County last month. Nicole Santa Cruz in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/12

California's legal climate is among worst for business, survey says -- Many California lawmakers know that the state is seen as unfriendly to business, so they focused in the just completed legislative session on issues that included reducing frivolous lawsuits against businesses. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/12

California Border Patrol immigrant apprehensions fall to new low -- With the economy still down, sneaking across the California border just isn't as tempting as it once was for illegal immigrants. Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/10/12

Hoffenblum: 2012 Target Races – Part One: State Assembly -- This year, due to redistricting and the new top two Open Primary, there will be more two-party competitive congressional and state legislative races this November than we have seen in this state in over a decade. Allan Hoffenblum Fox & Hounds -- 9/10/12

AP Exclusive: Private school vaccine opt-outs rise -- Parents who send their children to private schools in California are much more likely to opt out of immunizations than their public school counterparts, an Associated Press analysis has found, and not even the recent re-emergence of whooping cough has halted the downward trajectory of vaccinations among these students. HANNAH DREIER Associated Press -- 9/10/12

Mapping L.A.'s Endangered Pot Shops -- California's tumultuous love affair with marijuana has hit soap opera proportions in Los Angeles. NATE BERG The Atlantic -- 9/10/12

D.A. seeks funds to investigate public officials in Orange County -- Following the arrest of a prominent Orange County civic leader on suspicion of sexual assault, county prosecutors have requested extra staffing to form a public integrity unit that would focus on possible corruption and wrongdoing by elected leaders. Rick Rojas in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/12

   Chicago v Boston .

Mitt Romney's pollster tries to reassure supporters -- “Don't get too worked up about the latest polling,” Mitt Romney’s top pollster says in a memo sent to reporters and the campaign’s donors. David Lauter in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/12

Mitt Temporarily Forgets Plan to Screw the Sick -- Mitt Romney made some news when he appeared on Meet the Press yesterday and said he intended to reform the health-care system to allow people with preexisting conditions to obtain health insurance: Jonathan Chait New York Magazine -- 9/10/12

Mystery PAC Look-Alike Websites Disappear -- Ads for the network of look-alike campaign websites run by an obscure political group appear to have vanished from the Internet on Monday afternoon, only hours after National Journal reported that the sites, which appeared similar to official candidate sites, had confused some donors. Shane Goldmacher National Journal -- 9/10/12

Romney Sidesteps Details of Tax Plan for Top Earners -- Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he’ll reduce the number of deductions and exemptions for high-income taxpayers, while declining to say which ones he would get rid of as part of his plan. Kathleen Hunter and Roxana Tiron Bloomberg -- 9/10/12

Obama Campaign Video Says GOP Ticket Won’t Answer Basic Questions on Tax Plan -- After the campaigns clashed on Sunday over what Democrats are calling Mitt Romney’s refusal to identify which tax loopholes he would close and what cuts he would make as part of his tax plan, the Obama campaign released a two-minute video highlighting Romney-Ryan’s “bad math” on Sunday night. Lara Seligman National Journal -- 9/10/12

GOP Ticket Makes Questionable Argument on Defense Cuts -- Romney and Ryan are using disputed numbers and trying to pin blame on Obama. Sara Sorcher National Journal -- 9/10/12

Obama's Bouncing, but Some Swing States Are Still Close -- Rasmussen's tracking poll now follows suit with a bump for Obama. That said, North Carolina remains neck-and-neck and New Mexico is perhaps closer that it should be for a non-swing state. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter. ESTHER ZUCKERMAN The Atlantic -- 9/10/12

Obama Team Hits Romney Readiness to be Commander in Chief -- On the eve of the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, President Barack Obama’s re-election team sought to raise doubts about Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s fitness to be commander in chief. JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS Bloomberg -- 9/10/12

Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues -- A look at where Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney stand on a selection of issues: CALVIN WOODWARD Associated Press -- 9/10/12

Senate Dem leader mocks Ryan on marathon time math -- The Senate Democratic leader says Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's math doesn't add up—on marathons or budgets. DONNA CASSATA Associated Press -- 9/10/12

An Open Letter to Mitt Romney -- I am sure you are being deluged with advice, but I hope mine is worth hearing. PETER J. HANSEN Weekly Standard -- 9/10/12

The Democrats’ GM Fiction -- The Democrats have decided to run in 2012 as the bailout party. NRO Editors -- 9/10/12

The Magic of 2008 Eludes Obama -- The consensus on Barack Obama’s acceptance speech Thursday night, and in effect on the Democratic National Convention as a whole, is that it was a bust. Michael Barone NRO -- 9/10/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

Prop. 33 restarts auto insurance debate -- An initiative on the November ballot that would allow auto insurers to base their prices in part on a driver's coverage history is pitting an executive at one of the state's largest insurance companies against a consumer advocacy group for the second time in as many years. Drew Joseph in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/10/12

Gov. Jerry Brown to GOP: 'Get out of the way' -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday took to the national airwaves to weigh in on the presidential election, arguing that President Obama had laid a foundation for economic recovery and that the country would be better off if Republicans would “get out of the way.” Michael J. Mishak in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/12

Jerry Brown defends tax measure, likens Mitt Romney to Thomas Dewey -- Gov. Jerry Brown said this morning that California's high tax rates have not dragged down the economy, defending his Nov. 6 ballot initiative to raise taxes in a television interview. David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert$ Morgan Little in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/12

California ranked 4th worst in business legal climate -- California ranks 47th in the nation in its courts' "fairness and reasonableness" regarding business lawsuits, according to a poll conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert$ -- 9/10/12

Pension reform: third of state workers pay more -- Without the usual bargaining with unions, a new pension reform raises the amount roughly a third of state workers pay toward their pensions, an increase of 1 to 3 percent of pay over the next two years. Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 9/10/12

California has political attention blues -- Now that the Democrats have finished their partisan slugfest, it's time for the real election to begin and, once again, solidly blue California will be left out of the battlefield. Rick Orlov in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/10/12

Bill protects religious garb, grooming in the workplace -- Under AB 1964 signed by Gov. Brown, California employers face new restrictions against shunting Sikh and Muslim workers out of public view for wearing turbans, beards and hijabs. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/12

Skelton: Let the dogs loose on uncontrolled bears -- Hunting bears with hounds is humane, and legislation barring it should be vetoed, as should a bill to sterilize trout. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/12

Howard Berman campaign to gain two GOP senators' support -- Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, plus independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, to back Rep. Howard Berman's reelection effort. He is running against a fellow Democrat, Rep. Brad Sherman. Jean Merl in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/12

Hotel for California had scalding water, cockroaches -- Construction noise, wet paint everywhere, scalding hot water from bathroom faucets, dysfunctional elevators, cockroaches: we’re guessing the Blake Hotel, home to California’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention, is going to get some tough reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp. Jeff Horseman, Ben Goad and Jim Miller in the Riverside Press -- 9/10/12

CalBuzz: How Dems Exposed Mitt’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ Values -- It’s now clear that the frame of the Democratic National Convention and the overriding message of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign was spelled out in his September 2011 address to Congress. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 9/10/12


Many signs point to a Bakersfield boom -- Unlike much of the state, Bakersfield is adding residents and jobs while attracting companies. But the economy has not fully recovered, and the city is hindered by a variety of weaknesses. Ricardo Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/12

Fresno home prices inch up -- The median price for Fresno County homes has climbed each month since April, a four-month run that is good news for a much-battered real estate market. BoNhia Lee in the Fresno Bee -- 9/10/12


Small central coast district leads the way on teacher evaluation, mentoring -- Two major themes of change working through the nation’s education system – teacher evaluations based on test scores and the elevation of master teachers as classroom mentors – failed to advance in California during this summer’s legislative session. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 9/10/12

Governor signs bill allowing training benefits for laid-off teachers -- Laid-off teachers will soon be able to collect unemployment benefits even while participating in specialized training under a bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday. Kimberly Beltran SI&A Cabinet Report -- 9/10/12

Schools find new ways to welcome community college transfers -- New efforts are meant to ease 'transfer shock' for a student population that helps public and private universities' bottom lines. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/12

Cohen: Post-AB 5: Focus on substantial areas of agreement on evaluations -- Last month’s legislative drama involving Assembly Bill 5 provided a snapshot of the dysfunctional politics of education policy, with distrust and division inflaming what should be worked out in a calm and straightforward manner. David B. Cohen EdSource -- 9/10/12

Study finds little uniformity in CA school discipline -- There’s little consistency in the way California schools deal with expelling and suspending students, according to a new survey of 315 of the state’s largest school districts. Kathryn Baron EdSource -- 9/10/12

   Health Care

Pot use in teen years linked to higher risk of testicular cancer -- USC researchers find cocaine can cut risk, but comes with other dangers. SUSANNE RUST Bay Citizen -- 9/10/12

Information is power when patients make health care decisions -- Low-income Californians are more likely to feel empowered and engaged in decisions about their health care when they are more informed about their condition and the options available to them, according to a report released Monday. Daniel Weintraub HealthyCal.org -- 9/10/12

Palliative care helps critically ill children and reduces costs -- The parents of critically ill children insured by Medi-Cal once had to choose between ongoing treatment and end-of-life care. A program to offer a third option, community-based palliative care, was launched in California in 2009. Heather Tirado Gilligan HealthyCal.org -- 9/10/12


Young Immigrants Pause on 'Deferred Action' Offer -- The flow of applications for a program allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. and work legally has been slowed by concerns about what they must disclose and uncertainty about who will be the next president. MIRIAM JORDAN in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 9/10/12


Mayor Ed Lee's job approval ratings slip -- San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee appears to have lost a bit of the popularity that helped propel him to his election victory 10 months ago. Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/10/12

Muni app seeks to improve fleet, crews -- Muni's frustrating service problems can be blamed on many factors, among them a chronic shortage of operators, an unreliable fleet of aging streetcars, and buses and schedules that don't always mesh with the realities of San Francisco's congested streets. Rachel Gordon in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/10/12

   Chicago v Boston

Romney Sidesteps Details of Tax Plan for Top Earners -- Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he’ll reduce the number of deductions and exemptions for high-income taxpayers, while declining to say which ones he would get rid of as part of his plan. Kathleen Hunter and Roxana Tiron Bloomberg -- 9/10/12

Romney Wants to Keep Key Parts of Obamacare -- Mitt Romney sat down for a big interview with David Gregory for NBC's Meet the Press. Rather than stick to our usual format, we're highlighting the key things he said on specific issues. Take it away, Mitt. CONNOR SIMPSON The Atlantic -- 9/10/12

Forget The Economy — Romney Campaigns On God, NASCAR, And Conservative Values -- After a weekend of touring America's culture war battlegrounds — rhetorically and literally — Mitt Romney's campaign is rejecting the perception that it has shifted its focus from economic to social issues in the home stretch of the race. McKay Coppins BuzzFeed -- 9/10/12

Paul Ryan says plan to close tax loopholes not a secret, but he is short on specifics -- Making his Sunday news shows debut as the Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) underscored the importance of closing tax loopholes utilized by the wealthy. But he would not specify which loopholes he and Mitt Romney are willing to close to help pay for a reduction in taxes the GOP ticket is proposing. Sean Sullivan in the Washington Post -- 9/10/12

Dems highlight divide between Ryan, Romney on sequester vote -- The Obama campaign on Sunday sought to spotlight a divide on the GOP ticket as it jumped on Mitt Romney’s calling Republican support of the sequestration deal — including that of his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — a “big mistake.” Jeremy Herb The Hill -- 9/10/12

Obama: Romney plan for Medicare would cost seniors 'thousands' -- President Obama on Sunday turned his attention to Medicare, telling voters in Florida that Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan’s plans to reform the program would mean higher costs on seniors and more profits for insurance companies. Meghashyam Mali The Hill -- 9/10/12

Nine states where the race will be won -- The presidential race has narrowed to a core of nine states, a collection of margin-of-error battlegrounds spread across nearly every region. CHARLES MAHTESIAN Politico -- 9/10/12

The Dog and the Preacher -- Why, this time, hope will need a lot of help from a certain ex-president. John Heilemann New York Magazine -- 9/9/12

Obama Outraises Romney in August -- For the first time since April, Chicago has outraised Boston, with the Obama campaign and the DNC pulling in more than $114 million in the month of August, while Romney and his supporting Republican committees raised $111.6 million. Sarah Huisenga The Atlantic -- 9/10/12

Mitt Romney Forced to Continue Talking About Clint Eastwood -- Friday's disappointing jobs numbers and the end of the Democratic National Convention meant that the Sunday talk shows were a golden opportunity for the GOP ticket to hit the airwaves and attempt to steal back the spotlight. Andre Tartar New York Magazine -- 9/9/12

On, Wisconsin -- In the wake of New York Times and Politico stories suggesting that the electoral college math still favors the incumbent, the Romney campaign Sunday released a new TV ad for Wisconsin. MARK HALPERIN Time -- 9/9/12

It’s Not Just a Job. It’s a Jobs Program. -- Romney’s ads against military cuts promise more jobs through government spending. William Saletan Slate -- 9/9/12

Buchanan: Obama’s ‘flat,’ ‘repetitive’ speech gives GOP a chance ‘to turn this thing around and win’ -- Add “The McLaughlin Group” panelist Pat Buchanan to the growing list of pundits dissatisfied with President Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention this week. Jeff Poor Daily Caller -- 9/9/12

Double-Minded Republicans -- After a first term that has been historically abysmal, President Obama stands a good chance of being reelected. How can that be? Here is the blunt explanation: We have lost a third of the country and, as if that weren’t bad enough, Republicans act as if it were two-thirds. Andrew C. McCarthy NRO -- 9/9/12

Romney, Obama trade shots over tax-cut math, Medicare -- During a series of lengthy talk show interviews, Romney and his running mate, Paul D. Ryan, declined to go into detail on how they would pay for across-the-board tax cuts while balancing the budget over two terms in office. MAEVE RESTON and CHRISTI PARSONS in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/9/12