LA Progressive: July 18 to 24, 2010

Eugene Robinson

Eugene Robinson

“This Is Really About Tearing Obama Down”. A few of the purveyors of this bigoted nonsense might actually believe it. Most of them, however, are merely seeking political gain by inviting white voters to question the motives and good faith of the nation’s first African-American president. This is really about tearing Barack Obama down. -Berry Craig

Netroots Focus on Better Democrats. Four years after the first netroots convention, the bloggers are back in Vegas – with an eye on the November 2010 elections. Voters still want change like they did in 2006 and 2008, but now that Democrats control both Congress and the White House there’s a real fear that Republicans could benefit. -Paul Hogarth

Gulf Fisheries Opened: Safe or BP Politics, PR and Sock Puppetry? Is the Obama administration and BP engaging in politics and PR with a dangerous twist? -Georgianne Nienaber

Arizona’s New Law Upends Federal Priorities. While the proponents of SB1070 say that Arizona will help ICE enforce immigration laws, the fact is that it would impinge upon ICE’s ability to fulfill its mandate, set enforcement priorities, and allocate resources effectively. -Michele Waslin

Robert Gibbs Blew It on Shirley Sherrod Attack. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs showed poor press management skills in handling the whole Shirley Sherrod saga. He allowed the media frame to shift quickly to the missteps of the administration rather than emphasizing the underhanded, contrived, and racist actions of Andrew Breitbart and his fellow travelers at Fox News. -Joseph Palermo

usmcParade Rest. I’m an old guy with a bad leg, a mine-shattered spine, and a damn hose in my nose. I have no choice. The case of emphysema I won for smoking several million cigarettes has moved into its final stage. All life may be terminal, but emphysema writes its own last act - Mike Price

Political Wrangling Aside, We’re In This Together. I believe that as a society we are moving away from a desire to solve problems cooperatively toward a single-minded motivation to defeat opponents. Political conflict has spread into “culture wars,” in which other people’s choice of newspaper or dinner beverage, or their attitude toward recycling or marriage makes them our enemy - Steve Hochstadt

Dysfunctional Politics Begets Suicidal Policies. The Republican party faithful care little about the lives of everyday people. But they do care about their corporate benefactors. They claim to care so much about deficit reduction that they do not want to extend unemployment benefits, yet they want to extend the very tax cuts that wrecked the U.S. economy - David Love

A Hoop Dream, Politics & the Long Reach of High Tech Money. Capitalism hasn’t gone away and internet technology hasn’t fundamentally changed its nature. The growing wealth inequality is as present in the lands just south of San Francisco as it is in the country as a whole - Carl Bloice

Cut Death Penalty, Save California $126 Million a Year. The California Supreme Court ‘sentenced’ our state’s taxpayers to an additional debt of $180,000 more per year last week - Ramona Ripston

Fishing and Breathing BP’s Oil: What’s “Safe?”. No one knows for certain what are “safe” levels of dispersants, oil, and VOCs in the air and water. There was no baseline to begin with, agencies are overlapping or not doing their jobs, and there are still 80 days worth of oil and dispersants in the Gulf to contend with - Georgianne Nienaber

West Side of Pier-Wide Shot Copyright June 7, 2010 Nick Zantop

Why Tea Party Chairman Mark Williams Got Kicked Out. Don’t look for Tea Party activists to try to run racists hiding in their ranks out of the movement. For they can no more disavow the racists in their own Party than they could disavow their white grandfathers that raised them but said things that made them “uncomfortable.” They’ll just have to learn to keep their unspoken truths to themselves - Anthony Samad

Shirley Sherrod, Andrew Breitbart and Post Racial America. The swift reaction of the Obama administration in the notorious incident of Shirley Sherrod is an indication that the fear of the accusation of racism against white Americans has spread into official Washington - Mario Solis-Marich

Of Junk Food and Junk News. Cable news starts with a story, removes the grain and nuance then mainlines the fury. It’s all high-fructose hyperbole all the time - Tina Dupuy

Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance. Author Alexander Zaitchik sits down with Keith Olbermann to discuss his new book, “Common Nonsense, Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance”. Zaitchik tells Olbermann that we shouldn’t misinterpret Beck’s recent dip in ratings to mean that he is losing popularity

We’re in a One-and-a-Half Dip Recession. The President should stop talking and acting on anything else – not the deficit, not energy, not the environment, not immigration, not implementing the health care law, not education. He should make the whole upcoming mid-term election a national referendum on putting Americans back to work, and his jobs bill. Are you for it or against it?.  -Robert Reich

40 Is the New 15: Don’t Trust Anyone Under 40. The new musical 40 is the New 15 has the distinction of being the first musical produced by the Academy for New Musical Theatre, while a workshop presentation of it was, deservedly, nominated for a GLAAD Media Award - Ed Rampell

To LA’s New Probation Chief: Condolences on Your Appointment. Why would anyone take on the challenge of cleaning up a department long known for abusing rather than helping the kids in its custody, losing track of money and ID badges, punishing whistleblowers and protecting wrongdoers?. Diane Lefer

J.D. Hayworth Challenges Administration on Immigration Enforcement Weeks Before National Guard Deploys to Border. Campaign politics aside, challenging the Obama Administration on immigration enforcement—an issue that immigration advocates have criticized the President as being too heavy-handed on, in fact—just doesn’t make sense - Seth Hoy

In this July 2, 2010 photo, Mischelle Mitchell looks online for job listings at the at the Oakland Career Center in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Student Anti-Sweatshop Activists Win Historic Breakthrough. Numerous experts argue that the global “race to the bottom” is inevitable and beyond the power of activists to change. Fortunately, student anti-sweatshop activists ignored these claims, and have now defied the conventional wisdom - Randy Shaw

Jobless Benefits Battle Holds Millions of Americans Hostage. A group of mostly Republican lawmakers refuses to reauthorize an extension of $33 billion in unemployment benefits. And in blocking the legislation during desperate times, they are holding 2.5 million Americans hostage, all for a political stunt. T. David Love

Elisabeth Bumiller: Wrong on the Tonkin Gulf Incident. If Bumiller really believes that her peers in the establishment press in February/March 1968 were expressing “widespread skepticism” about the facts concerning the Gulf of Tonkin Incident then shouldn’t she have been a little more “skeptical” herself when her good friend Condi Rice (along with Rummy and Cheney and the rest of the gang) were launching their own pretext for invading Iraq?.  -Joseph Palermo

Democrats Doomed If They Run as Incumbents. The anti-incumbent mood is not confined to the racist Tea Parties on the Right – but is just as potent on the Left, where progressives are disenchanted by a President who promised hope and change, only to capitulate to Joe Lieberman to pass a health care bill that requires us to all buy private insurance - Paul Hogarth

Labor Fights Back for Living Wages, Jobs For All. Employers are exploiting fears of joblessness by demanding workers take wage cuts and reductions or eliminations in benefits. The millions of unemployed are giving corporations an excuse to slash wages, since desperate workers will work for almost anything - Shamus Cooke

Howard Zinn’s the Bomb. The late Howard Zinn’s new book The Bomb is a brilliant little dissection of some of the central myths of our militarized society - David Swanson

SB-1070 Proponents Accuse DOJ for Not Going After ‘Sanctuary Cities’. Proponents of Arizona’s new immigration law, SB-1070, have a new talking point: they are now arguing that if the Department of Justice (DOJ) is going to legally challenge SB-1070, it should also go after “sanctuary city” policies as well. “Sanctuary city” is a right-wing derisive term used to describe cities that have adopted community policing policies that prevent police from asking about the immigration status of or detaining and arresting immigrants solely for being undocumented - Andrea Nill

Pentagon’s Growing Robot Capability an Ominous Development. The Pentagon is rapidly improving its ability to fight wars with robots. This capability is “bringing about the most profound transformation of warfare since the advent of the atom bomb,” says Scientific American, and raises “a host of ethical and legal issues.”. Sherwood Ross

Pistol-Packing Politicians and the Prince of Peace. Now one office seeker from the Wild West is appearing in a TV commercial, shooting guns and invoking the Almighty. She’s Machine Gun Gorman, an uber-conservative candidate for Congress in the Arizona Republican primary - Berry Craig

Gulf Oil Disaster: A Tragedy of the Commons. The Tragedy of the Commons teaches us that private companies can’t regulate themselves because this eventually leads to the tragedies we see in the Gulf of Mexico and the financial tragedies in the global economy - Donald Price

Spinning the Truth. We have learned to expect our political leaders to adopt partisan positions on every possible issue, subordinating facts to ideology, truth to political advantage. We can no longer believe even the basic biographical “facts” that they claim qualify them for office - Steve Hochstadt

Bread and Circuses and Animal Rights. I remember during small kid days the arrival of Ringling Bros.’ in New York, and the elephant march up one of Manhattan’s avenues – an irresistible photo op if ever there was one – to Madison Square Garden, where I’d join thousands of other “children of all ages” to watch the thrilling spectacle - Ed Rampell

Parents & Community Involvement at Mt. Washington Elementary School – By Invitation Only. The parents in this complex and diverse system are firm believers in LAUSD’s mission: “to create critical thinkers prepared to participate in a diverse and complex society.” And it can’t get any more complex than LAUSD - Nina Zippay and Fernando J. Orozco

President Palin? Take the Poll. Of course, it is possible that Palin’s celebrity will never be more than that – celebrity and she’d be clobbered if she were to actually enter the bid for the presidency. But, so far, things have been working out pretty well for Sarah Palin - Sharon Kyle

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