Goodness, An Adult Really Is In Charge!

President Barack Obama greets President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva  of Brazil, with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

While much of the mainsteam media was huffing and puffing about “Hug Gate” – the supposed gaffe where Michelle Obama was seen with her arm around Queen Elizabeth, which Buckingham Palace dismissed as a “spontaneous show of mutual affection” – Barack Obama was actually busy doing what a global leader is supposed to do: Leading [...]

U.S. Economic Policy Faces a Defiant Planet

g20

As President Obama begins his first European tour this week, starting with the G20 economic summit, he’s finding that much of the rest of the world has suddenly become quite uppity. If all goes as planned, by the time these word are published, floats will have departed in late morning April 1 on a “Financial [...]

Color of Law: U.S. Drug Policy Has Gone to Pot

marijuana-joint

In a recent online town hall meeting at the White House, President Obama was asked by the online audience whether he thought legalizing marijuana would create jobs and help the economy. It was the most popular question asked at the meeting.

LA Rape Evidence Backlog Booms to 12,000 Cases

Untested sexual assault evidence at the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department central evidence storage facility. (Patricia Williams/Human Rights Watch)

Rape victims seeking justice sometimes find nothing but a dead end in Los Angeles County. A Human Rights Watch report revealed that there is backlog of untested rape kits and that the Los Angeles Police Department, county sheriff’s office and other smaller agencies have failed to test DNA evidence in more than 12,000 sexual assault [...]

A Major Deal Over a Minor Issue

medical-marijuana

Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government would no longer “target” medical cannabis providers who operated within state law. It remains unclear how the federal government will decide who provides marijuana within state law and who does not. One thing is clear; the feds do not fully understand state [...]

Reagan the Socialist, Nixon the Commie, Eisenhower the Quisling

commie-republicans

Ronald Reagan was a socialist. I didn’t say it. Bill O’Reilly got permission from Republican Party policy chief Rush Limbaugh to explain, on the air, the economic logic that drives the Republican Party to now condemn Reagan as a socialist. As O’Reilly explained Republican policy, anyone who wants our wealthiest citizens to pay as little [...]

Color of Law: New York, City of the Poor

poverty1

As the song goes, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere, it’s up to you, New York, New York.” The problem is that if you are counting on making it in New York City, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. A recent report by The Center for an Urban Future [...]

Red California Death Watch

red-counties

In 2007, right-wing political operatives tried to place a measure on the June 2008 ballot that – if successful – would have awarded California’s electoral votes by Congressional District. Democrats and progressives strongly opposed it, because everyone assumed it would give the G.O.P. presidential nominee an extra 19 votes. California is a deep blue state, [...]

The Magical Mystery Majority Budget

california-begging

On Thursday, December 18, frustrated with their inability to attract any Republican votes through long negotiations, both the State Assembly and the State Senate decided on an entirely different tack. They would pass a series of majority-vote bills to cut and change the current, 2008-09 budget. Though such a move would not get the state [...]

Cheney, Rove, and Fleischer and the Importance of Net Neutrality

cheney

Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer, and other right-wing mouthpieces are trying to frame future debates while they reinvent the George W. Bush years. Their eerie falsehoods, half-truths, revisions, and lies are given added weight because they sit atop a bed of chatter and static, often called the “echo chamber,” of Fox News and right-wing [...]

Pope: “Jesus Didn’t Die on the Cross”

benedict

THE VATICAN (Reuters) —The Catholic world is in upheaval and confusion after an announcement today by Bishop Richard Williamson and Pope Benedict that Jesus, contrary to centuries of church doctrine, did not in fact die on the cross as was previously taught. Said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, papal spokesman: “The length and width of the [...]

Blue Dog Democrats and Republican Triangulation

pet-republicans

Senator John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, has served up a devastating critique of the direction the Republican Party has taken recently. “If figureheads like Ann Coulter are turning me off,” Ms. McCain writes, “then they are definitely turning off other members of my generation as well.” She understands that when the GOP’s dominant personalities are [...]

Media Tries to Undermine Obama Agenda

chris_matthews

Barack Obama has been President for eight weeks, and much of the traditional media remains incapable of making sense of his agenda. In one corner we have hosts like Hardball’s Chris Matthews, who appears to be compensating for pro-Obama campaign comments by giving excessive voice to the president’s critics. Or we have CNN’s John King, [...]

Reason Returns to the White House

elephant-world

Like it or not, knuckle-draggers: Science is back IN. As a life-long Catholic, I couldn’t be more delighted. I’m sure the airwaves and the cable channels will soon be wall-to-wall with conservatives and Republicans and other assorted 13th-century thinkers whining and moaning and ringing their hands – probably gnashing their teeth and rending their garments, [...]

An Argument for Medical Marijuana

marijuana

I’m a medical marijuana patient in Los Angeles who suffers from chronic pain due to a work-related repetitive strain injury. This summer I sat through the trial of Charles C. Lynch. Charles Lynch was the owner of a medical marijuana dispensary in California. I learned about Charles Lynch after seeing Drew Carey’s “Raiding California” video [...]

Help Bree Walker Get Back on the Air

bree-walker

Bree Walker Sent This Note: Date: Mar 6, 2009 6:36 PM Subject: I NEED YOUR HELP! To all of my friends, I am writing to all of you because I REALLY NEED YOUR HELP! I rarely ever send out any mass emailings in fact this is the first one I can remember ever writing:) In [...]

Cons, Convicts, and Government Contractors

christina_jewett

As President Barack Obama today puts out a strong call for reform in government contracting, it’s worth taking a look back at last week’s congressional hearing, artfully titled “How Convicts and Con Artists Receive New Federal Contracts.” Last week’s hearing was based on the findings of a report issued last week by the Government Accountability [...]

Friday Feedback: Don’t Take Budget Mess to the People

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Linda Doran, writing in response to “Ending the Annual Budget Impasse Ritual” by Richard M. Mathews. Linda writes: The intent behind this suggestion is laudable, but in my opinion, the threat of taking the [...]

Prop 1E Threatens Mental Health Services for Needy

poverty

As you know, the budget package adopted recently calls for a May 19 special election and puts six ballot measures before voters. One of these initiatives, Proposition 1E, asks voters to approve the diversion of $460 million over two years from Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) revenues to the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and [...]

Ensure Stimulus Funds Reach the CSU System

college student

The faculty in the California State University are deeply concerned about the rapid decline in the ability of our nation’s largest four-year university system to deliver higher education to all eligible students. Our public university system is staggering from deep cuts to state funding already made this year, last year, and earlier this decade. Now [...]

Ending the Annual Budget Impasse Ritual

terminator

The California budget process is broken due to the requirement for a two-thirds vote to pass the budget. I would like to suggest a different procedure that preserves the minority protections of the two-thirds requirement while encouraging negotiation and ensuring that there definitely will be a budget passed. Proposal: If no budget passes by the [...]

Friday Feedback: Land Use and Transit

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Yoshidad, writing in response to “Economic Recovery Must Include Transit“ by Erin Steva and Kevin J. Powers. Yoshidad writes: Let’s not forget revisions to the land use that accompanies transit. Currently the vast majority [...]

A Dozen Books That Tell Americans Like It Is

read-to-fly

If newspaper readership is plummeting, maybe it’s because readers are turning elsewhere to catch a glimpse of the causes behind the official story. Recognizing this, some book publishers courageously are using their printing presses to bring interpretive reporting to the reading public. Here are a dozen books Americans need to read as they paint a [...]

Citizens, Not Serfs

greed_is_bad

On the “Tonight Show” recently, President Obama discussed the need to change the “culture of entitlement” on Wall Street. It needs more than changing. How about scrapping it completely and then grafting on a little bit of character and common sense? The other day, I asked a Bank of America representative why, after I used [...]

Republicans: The Tough-on-Crime Hypocrisy

justice-and-corruption

2009 has started badly for honest communications. I’ve watched while President Obama reached “across the aisle” attempting to share the glory of trying to save the U.S. from the Bush Depression, with Republicans. I’ve watched as Democratic leaders in the California statehouse tried to convince Republican assemblymen to consider schools, infrastructure, and public health to [...]

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