LA Progressive: 1 August to 7 August, 2010

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White House Press Corps Board Doesn’t Get It. MoveOn and CREDO hailed the decision by the association’s board to deny FOX the center seat, but the fact that this nakedly right-wing propaganda outfit masquerading as a news channel now gets to sit in the front row is still an embarrassment. -Sylvia Moore

Killing Prop Hate: What Republicans Fear. A conservative Republican judge, appointed by George H.W. Bush has done what the Tea Party activists have been demanding – he restored the Constitution. Judge Vaughn Walker held that the U.S. Constitution, and its provisions requiring equal protection of the laws, required that Proposition Hate be stricken down. =Tom Hall

The New Know-Nothings. Of course, the Republicans – and even the Tea Baggers – would have us belief that their beef is with “illegal” immigrants. But they’re not fooling anybody. Most of these neo-Know Nothings are white people who have a problem with Latinos north of the border, period. -Berry Craig

But Is It Good for the Jews? The Netanyahu government’s “might makes right” stance not only jeopardizes international Jewry, but above all endangers Israel. Unnecessarily pissing off most of the international community may not be a good survival strategy, but it is a tried and true formula for hate crimes perpetrated against those perceived as belonging to the offenders. -Ed Rampellimmigrtion push and pull

Dear Tea Party Member. Okay, not hate. But we surely feel sorry for sheep-like tea party puppets destroying our country for no other reason than they’re too mentally lazy to think for themselves. -Mike Price

States Might Jump Off Arizona’s Immigration Bandwagon. State legislators are citing fear of costly lawsuits and a charged political environment in which restrictive immigration legislation might not pass as factors in their decision. -Seth Hoy

“Facts are Stubborn Things” – The Value of Judge Walker’s Decision. What taking this case to trial – rather than expedited summary judgment hearings – allowed us to do was to set up a factual framework, which cannot be reversed on appeal. -Paul Hogarth

The Hidden Story Behind the Sherrod Case: USDA Racism. The rush to dismiss Shirley Sherrod based on an edited video contrasts remarkably with the tens of thousands of cases of USDA bureaucrats denying African American farmers loans, jobs, acreage, information, and courtesy who were neither dismissed or reprimanded. -Pete Daniel

Senators Graham and Kyl Buy Tickets to the Birthright Citizenship Dog and Pony Show. Although the Supreme Court has consistently upheld birthright citizenship, year after year restrictionist groups and legislators trot out the “repeal birthright citizenship” mantra in the hopes of adding a few more immigration extremists to their dog and pony show audience. -Seth Hoy

michelle and barack obamaDemocrats’ Little Problem. But as I’ve noted too many times to count in recent years, the “party of FDR” has developed a positive genius for taking a bottle of finely aged, twelve-year-old scotch and turning it into donkey piss. -Tom Degan

How Empathy Makes Superior Judges – and Justice. Critics ridiculed President Obama’s statement that judges should be empathetic. But as the Senate prepares to vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan, legal historian Joel Goldstein argues that senators should be looking for that very quality. -Joel K. Goldstein

Ozzie Guillen Speaks Truth on Baseball’s Racial Double Standard. It’s clear that MLB fears that formally recognizing its proliferation of Spanish-speaking players by providing interpreters could cause a backlash from a predominately white male fan base that likely supports Arizona’s anti-Latino law. -Randy Shaw

The Enthusiasm Gap and You. Average Americans are hurting. But their pain isn’t coming from government. It’s coming from an economy whose benefits are concentrating ever more at the top, whose giant corporations are controlling ever more of our democratic process, and whose costs and risks are becoming ever more burdensome for the middle class and the poor. -Robert Reich

Why the GOP’s Bizarre Attack on the 14th Amendment. it likely boils down to two things: riling up their base before November’s midterm elections and creating a toxic environment to kill any chance of the DREAM Act passing if and when it is introduced this fall. - Andrea Nill

Judge Vaughn Walker

Judge Vaughn Walker

Obama’s Summer of Discontent. Overall, Obama has been successful as the leader of Washington. Where he is failing is as the leader of the country. That’s a surprise, given his short political career, and his very impressive rhetorical skills. - John Peeler

Shirley Sherrod and Race Realities In America: We All Need a History Lesson. America so badly needs a history lesson on race right now. Not necessarily to indict, but to enlight. Then maybe we wouldn’t as susceptible to episodes like Breitbart’s and other race baiters trying to gain Rush Limbaugh-Glenn Beck type notoriety. - Anthony Samad

Stop Calling Republicans ‘Hypocrites’. Espousing virtues you don’t personally have to live up to is basically the point of being a Republican. - Tina Dupuy

Essence Magazine’s True Color. There has been a color change at Essence. After forty years of having sisters from the African Diaspora as its fashion directors, the new one — Ellianna Placas — is white. And the news is sending seismic shock waves to many of its subscribers here in the U.S. and across the globe. - Rev. Irene Monroe

Angels and Innocents. Since God sees and “forgives” everything that is petitioned, the moral universe of children is a tiny, confining funhouse of mirrors. In communities where death at an early age is considered unremarkable by mainstream media and policymakers, the deferment demanded by faith is an insurance policy against social oblivion. - Sikivu Hutchinson

black infant

Budget Cowardice Compounds Problem. When conservative Republicans controlled Washington under George Bush, they spent government money on their pet projects with little regard for the long-term budgetary consequences. Now Republicans at the national level have made the deficit one of their major points of attack against the Democrats in preparation for the November elections. - Steve Hochstadt

Origins of the Enthusiasm Gap. Whatever the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections, the activist phase of the Obama administration has likely come to a close. The President may have a fight on his hands even to hold on to what he’s already achieved because his legislative successes have been large enough to fuel strong opposition but not big enough to strengthen his support. The result could be disastrous for him and congressional Democrats. - Robert Reich

It’s the Country, Not the System, That’s Stacked Against Liberals and Progressives. Richard J. Hofstadter. The poll numbers hint at the biggest GOP edge: the U.S. is the most conservative country in the Western democratic world. “Liberal” — which means centrist or center-left in other industrial democracies — is as far left as mainstream American politics flows. The U.S. is the only industrial democracy that doesn’t have a significant democratic socialist or social democratic party. - Berry Craig

My Heart Cries for Mitch Miller. Mitch Miller, the musical maven of middle-of-the-road pop who died in Manhattan Saturday at 99, became a household name via his early-’60s TV show Sing Along With Mitch . Long before that, he — along with Frank Sinatra and a guy named Al Cernick — provided my dad, songwriter Carl Sigman, with the flukiest hit of his career. - Michael Sigman

Most Arizonans Believe SB-1070 Will Heighten Racism, White Supremacist Groups On The Rise. SB-1070 enjoys high levels of support amongst members of the National Socialist Movement. However, the majority of SB-1070 supporters are not neo-Nazis. What’s troubling is that despite the widespread belief that SB-1070 will lead to increased racism and racial profiling, the majority of Arizonans still support it. - Andrea Nill

plastic waste with albatross

Kure-Atoll Albatross and the trashed beach (Courtesy Algalita Foundation)

Baby Steps in Plastic Bags. But what if all hundred people at my workplace followed suit? That’s 50,000 plastic bags per year that wouldn’t be fouling the environment. Or the 800 members of my church? Another 400,000 bags not killing wildlife. All 10 million LA County residents? Five billion bags. All Californians? That’s 19 billion bags—and now e’re waist deep in the Big Plastic. - Dick Price

How the Internet Can Make It Harder to Act. For all the strengths of online engagement, people still need to gather together, eat, joke, flirt, tell their stories, attach names to faces, and ultimately build deeper levels of trust. - Paul Loeb

Progressives Face Uphill Climb Designed to Make Them Fail. In Washington, the filibuster rules in the U.S. Senate have stalled our federal agenda. In Sacramento, the two-thirds vote requirement has given us a blue state with an Alabama budget. - Paul Hogarth

Checks and Balances. Government is simply the institutionalization over time of the collective will of the people at any given moment, established with at least one essential objective in mind: the prevention of the inevitable chaos that would result in its absence. - Ron Wolff

Why We Really Shouldn’t Keep the Bush Tax Cut for the Wealthy. Restoring top earners’ marginal tax rates to what they were during the Clinton administration (36 and 39 percent) won’t inhibit their spending. That’s because they already save a large portion of what they earn, and already spend what they want to spend. - Robert Reich

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being. When my working-class white friends and fellow coaches attacked affirmative action—which they did vociferously and often—it was about preferential treatment that they saw blacks and Latinos getting on the job, especially in the civil service. - Mark Naison

Arnold Ignores Kennedy Legacy in Vetoing Farmworker Overtime. While it’s no longer news that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is a fraud (which helps explains poll numbers that are lower than George W. Bush and the pre-recall Gray Davis), his veto this week of an overtime bill for California farmworkers is particularly disgraceful. - Randy Shaw

Obama Administration Considers Bypassing Congress on Immigration Reform. Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform are certain to welcome any effort by the Obama administration to unilaterally open pathways to citizenship for many currently in the country illegally. But the draft is also sure to outrage immigration-restriction groups. - Marcus Stern

Meg Whitman Believes Arizona Law ‘Should Stand for Arizona’. Whitman’s stance on Proposition 187 is also a contradiction in itself. During her primary campaign, Whitman released an ad featuring former Gov. Pete Wilson (R-CA) who affirmed that Whitman will be “as tough as nails” on immigration. Wilson’s endorsement might have scored some points with right-wingers, but it also meant a lot to California Latinos who remember him backing Proposition 187. - Andrea Nill

lady gagaHoly Wars: Putting the “Mental” into Fundamentalism. General Sherman, who burned Atlanta to the ground, rather famously and pithily said, “War is hell.” Stephen Marshall’s new documentary about religious fanaticism, Holy Wars, turns Sherman’s quote on its head with the clever tagline, “War is Heaven.” -Ed Rampell

Arizona, Lady Gaga, and the LGBTQ.munity. For queer folks threats of being locked up by the sheriff for not having an ID card carry special dangers. For LGBTQ people whose relationships cross borders for which they may not have the right paperwork, immigration is a gay rights issue. - Matthew Kavanagh

Should Citizens Be Human Beings? Citizens United Case Disenfranchises Human Beings I was talking to a friend one day about how to teach children to be fair with one another. He told me that when he was a kid, his mother had a great way of squashing fairness disputes between he and his sister. When an argument arose around someone not…. –Sharon Kyle

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