LA Progressive: 10 January to 16 January 2010 — Articles

Steve King: Undocumented Haitians Should Be Deported, Haiti in Great Need of Relief Workers. The Obama administration has agreed to halt the deportation of undocumented Haitians, though those currently held in detention centers will remain jailed unless TPS is granted. -Andrea Nill

The Peter Principle on Steroids: Lane Kiffin as Sarah Palin’s Running Mate in 2012. When all is said and done, the “Peter Principle” will be known as the “Kiffin Effect” – or perhaps the “Putz Principle” -that is, people will be promoted until they reach a level of gross incompetence, if garden variety incompetence does not suffice. -H. Scott Prosterman

A Saint, a Satanist, and a Lawyer Walked into History. Progressives do not need to believe in religion to understand that the values that Jesus taught and that Dr. King and Senator Kennedy lived, are beneficial to the world whether or not there is a God or an afterlife. -Tom Hall

Reid’s Obama Blunder and What It Means. To marvel ignorantly at a black man’s accomplishment is one thing; to lament all the “problems” that accompany finally fulfilling the constitutional promise of black citizenship quite another. -Adriane Lentz-Smith

Going to Graduate School, Then and Now. Taxpayers have a right to expect more for their money, and during these difficult times, they desperately need more for their money. They have a right to expect their support of institutions of higher learning to provide higher learning. -Bob Letcher

Why Would Progressive Congresswoman Woolsey Endorse Pro-War Blue Dog Jane Harman? It looks like the netroots is not exactly pleased with Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey’s recent decision to help raise money for Congresswoman Jane Harman’s re-election. -Mike Copass

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Marin) top left; Rep. Jane Harman (D-Palos Verdes) bottom left; Candidate Marcy Winograd, right.

Nuclear Terrorism: How It Can Be Prevented. The ongoing danger of nuclear terrorism provides yet another reason to rid the world of fissile material and its final, terrible product, nuclear weapons. Let’s not forget that. -Lawrence S. Wittner

Defiant Wall Street Welfare Kings Come to Washington. The Democrats ensconce themselves in huge amounts of Wall Street campaign money and in exchange they pursue the short-sighted prerogatives of a bunch of rich guys who have already been bailed out and have shown the world that they’re nothing but a gang of white-collar crooks. -Joseph Palermo

Europe’s Post-Copenhagen View of Obama. Mr. Obama isn’t delivering because he can’t deliver. The majorities needed for major policy changes are too high a threshold, even for someone with Mr. Obama’s political gifts. -Steven Hill

Stop Wasting Money on the Death Penalty! Let’s consider something the governor can actually do right now to make a serious dent in the corrections budget: convert all 700 death sentences in California to permanent imprisonment saving the state $1 billion over the next five years. -Natasha Minsker

Israel Giving Gas Masks to Babies. In tough political times, Israeli leaders know that they always hold one winning card, if they know how to play it right: the fear card. The same anxiety-driven “rally round the flag” effect that works in so many nations — as we saw vividly in the U.S. after the 9/11 attack — has a well-proven track record in Israel. -Ira Chernus

A State of Perpetual War. If we are to have a perpetual war, it must be a war against injustice and deprivation at home and abroad. We need to get our own house in order, rather than demolish and rebuild other nations that did not invite us there. And as far as the so-called terrorism problem is concerned, maybe we should stay out of other folks’ backyards and it will go away. -David Love

Not Granting Haitian Immigrants Temporary Protection Status After Earthquake Would Be “Not Only Immoral, But Irresponsible” Continuing to deport thousands of Haitian immigrants back to their ravaged home country rather than letting them stay in the U.S. to help their families in Haiti get back on their feet is inconsistent with the promises the Obama administration has already made to the people of Haiti. -Andrea Christina Nill

Why Obama Must Take on Wall Street. It has been more than a year since all hell broke loose on Wall Street and, remarkably, almost nothing has been done to prevent all hell from breaking loose again. -Robert Reich

Would King Have Spoken Out on LGBTQ Justice? Sadly, Bayard Rustin, the gay man who was chief organizer and strategist for the 1963 March on Washington that further catapulted Martin Luther King onto the world stage, was not the beneficiary of King’s dream. -Rev. Irene Monroe

Bleeding Heart Liberals Proven Right: Too Much Inequality Harms a Society. Within American society, it’s not the absolute income levels of states that determines their social well being, but rather the level of income disparity, as is the case with nations. Economic inequality and social dysfunction go hand in hand. -Robert Fuller

Niello Sponsors a Whine-Fest for Business, As Usual. Niello’s hearing is yet another bit of evidence that, no matter what the facts, the Republican narrative remains constant: We must reduce taxes and regulation, even if lack of effective regulation produced the current less-than-optimum outcome. And although “deficits don’t matter,” no matter how low they are, taxes are too high, especially on the wealthy. -Adam Eran

Does Welfare Work? If social welfare programs work, then countries with more extensive programs should report a smaller percent of their population living in poverty. And that is exactly what we find. -Ron Wolff

Tea Baggers Repackaging America’s Right Wing. If anyone still doubts that politics is all about branding, the rise of the “teabagger” closes the case. Here we have a group of overwhelmingly white anti-tax crusaders with a long history of political backing for right-wing causes suddenly re-branded by the media as populist crusaders for the common good. -Randy Shaw

Henry Waxman: Where Is Our Congressman? Whatever ‘liberal Democrat’ Waxman once was, he no longer is. His prepared speeches are nice to hear and the ‘charm’ is palpable. But people’s lives are hanging in the balance and reality lies in votes and legislation, the action and the inaction of his office. -Maureen Cruise

Bumpy Legal Road Ahead for Marriage Equality. For years, civil rights groups had carefully kept the federal courts out of gay marriage fights – and the prominent lawyers in Perry filed the suit without consulting them. But with most of marriage’s legal benefits coming under federal law, it was only a matter of time before the federal courts weighed in on this issue. -Paul Hogarth

What Obama Is Doing Wrong. Obama is using Chicago-style strong-arm techniques at home, while kowtowing to kings and dictators abroad. To forestall big Democratic loses in the 2010 elections, he will have to reverse tactics. -Judith Apter Klinghoffer

Obama, Diplomat-in-Chief. America now faces a situation to which neither benign neglect nor grandstanding will suffice to distract it from its central task of underwriting a peaceful international system. For all that the “new world order” took on a slanderous meaning in certain quarters during the 1990s, it still seems to be what much of the globe wants. -Kenneth Weisbrode

The Last Big Question: Will Health Care Reform Be Paid For By The Rich or the Middle Class? Some say the Senate’s excise tax is the only way to control long-term health care costs. Baloney. If a portion of the middle class loses their health care, they won’t get the preventive care that’s so crucial to containing long-term costs. -Robert Reich

Reinventing Journalism: The Emerging New World Order of News. If you’re reading this, you know what a revolution is taking place in how we get our news and information because of the Internet. It’s energizing and liberating to play a small part in it on TV, on my blog and on my community-based news site OurLA.org which brings together citizen and professional journalism to tell the story of LA’s political and civic culture. -Ron Kaye

Is Texas Still Executing Mentally Disabled Prisoners? If Denkowski loses his license, 17 men on death row may have their cases re-evaluated, according to the Alexandra Andrews: Observer. But some have already been executed. In one case, Denkowski first determined that an inmate was mentally disabled but changed his mind when prison guards found books in his cell. The inmate said later that he stacked the books to use as a chair. -Alexandra Andrews

Congolese Women and Girls Suffering the Insufferable. Heavily armed militias are trying to increase the very same kinds of turmoil that charitable groups are striving to remedy. They are doing so in order to gain control of four main minerals: tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold that garner an estimated $180 million in revenues each year.-Emily Spence and Brian McAfee

A Self-Described ‘Wiser Lou Dobbs’ Supports Legalizing Undocumented Immigrants. Despite his new proclaimed emphasis on border security and legalization, during the beginning of the segment a supposedly “wiser” Dobbs told O’Reilly that a recent bill introduced by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) is nothing but a “a list of what the open-borders amnesty crowd wants.” -Andrea Christina Nill

Bad Job Numbers and the Secret Second Stimulus. Bottom line: Obama will be going into an election year with a higher total level of unemployment than before the Great Recession. He will have to argue that, were it not for his policies, things would be even worse. Counter-factuals like this do not sit well on bumper stickers. -Robert Reich

Waxman Attacks Winograd on Israel; Ignites Political Firestorm. At the behest of his congressional ally, Jane Harman (CA-36), Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman (CA-30) has launched a mean-spirited ideological assault on Harman’s Democratic primary challenger, Marcy Winograd, that is garnering disfavor for Waxman and Harman amongst Democratic voters. -Linda Milazzo

The Dynamics of Disingenuous Dialog. Human history demonstrates beyond doubt that both liberals and conservatives are necessary for the common good and that veering too far in either direction is a recipe for ruin. -Charles D. Hayes

Why Can’t Politicians Say “Light-Skinned Negro”? Unless they’re compelled to address it, as Barack Obama was during the explosion of negativity around Rev. Jeremiah Wright, you can pretty much count on race not being discussed on the campaign trail. -Sharon Kyle

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