LA Progressive: March 21 to 27, 2010

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (John G. Mabanglo / EPA / Corbis)

South Bay to Discuss Autism Epidemic; Winograd for Congress Brings Experts Together. With more conclusive research will come louder and more urgent demands for environmental clean up at Super Fund sites near Torrance, stricter regulation and federal oversight of oil company pollution in Wilmington, and the political will to ensure our port reduces its diesel exhaust from idling trucks in San Pedro. - Marcy Winograd

Coffee Time: Reason, Bigotry, and Tea Party Angst. Both liberals and conservatives choose relating over reasoning at times, but research shows that conservatives place much more value on in-group loyalty than liberals do. There is plenty of research data to back up this assertion; one doesn’t have to resort to anecdotal evidence of flag waving and lapel pens, although it’s hard not to notice such behavior. - Charles D. Hayes

Immigrants, African Americans, and the Struggle for Civil Rights. Today, most Americans are familiar with the Brown v. Board of Education decision. However, the link between Mexican-Americans and African-Americans in the struggle for desegregation is not well known. The Mendez case and the relationship between the two cases is an important piece of U.S. history that deserves to be more widely acknowledged. - Michele Waslin

Soul of a Citizen: Vaclav Havel, Barack Obama, and Unforeseen Fruits. None of us can predict when the causes we support will capture the popular imagination or enlist someone who goes on to do powerful work for justice. “Before water turns to ice,” writes psychologist Joanna Macy, “it looks just the same as before. Then a few crystals form, and suddenly the whole system undergoes cataclysmic change.” - Paul Rogat Loeb

Archbishop Oscar Romero: Thirty Years and Little Learned. And what did those who formulate United States foreign policy learn from the carnage in El Salvador? The same thing they should have learned from Vietna Whenever the United States sticks its nose into another country’s civil war it only raises the level of death and destruction making the politics all the more intractable. And in the end it achieves very little other than what could have been worked out peacefully in the first place. - Joseph Palermo

Unemployment? Or Unwillingness to Pay for Services? Meanwhile, millions of people look for work. No, they’re not all trained to be police officers, probation officers, electrical engineers, or teachers. But many of them could be. And most of the rest are either qualified or COULD be qualified to perform tasks that provide society with useful — even necessary — services. - Ron Wolff

Catch 22 with President Obama. Ultimately, what is most important about Barack Obama may not be that he is an African-American president but, that — like Bill Clinton before him — he is a Corporate Democrat, who offers no real alternatives to Big Business As Usual and Endless Wars for Empire — (just like the Republicans - Lydia Howell

Harvard Murder Highlights the Perils of Being Young, Gifted, and Black. I don’t think the civil rights movement fought for the right of black students to get caught up in the campus drug game, with dead bodies strewn along their path. But one thing is certain: we must learn from the Chanequa Campbells, the Brittany Smiths, the Kemba Smiths, and the Edmund Perrys. We must learn what can go wrong when you are young, gifted, and black. - David A. Love

Cuba See, Junkies No. Cuba and the Teddy Bear reminds us of the all-important father-son, parent-child bond and relationship. Break that, and all hell can break loose. I have observed that the children I know for him that link has been torn of asunder often don’t fare well. Despite being an illiterate drug dealer, to his everlasting credit Cuba still tries his best to be a good dad, despite it all. - Ed Rampell

All Through the Night. But seriously, folks! If you still choose to remain blind to the overt racism that is the cornerstone of the so-called “Tea Party Movement”, you’re kidding yourselves. It is an organization of white supremacists – not much more; not much less. True, you might glimpse an occasional Uncle Tom on the fringes of any gathering, chomping away at a watermelon, but that’s merely for decorative purposes; Lester Maddox would have felt right at home with these birds. - Tom Degan

ObamaCare Passed Passing Up Reproductive Justice. Using women’s health care as a bargaining clip to pass H.R. 3590 has diminished, if not eliminated — for poor women and women of color who cannot pay for reproductive health care out-of-pocket — not only a safe abortion accessible to them but also emergency contraception. - Rev. Irene Monroe

Nurse Iris Willams talks to Ella Mae Johnson .

Exec Bonuses/Newsroom Outsourcing a Virtueless Circle. The decimation of the media industry, and particularly the newspaper business, has meant the elimination of health insurance benefits not only for the tens of thousands thrown out of work but also for the many writers, designers and others now forced to freelance. Media companies have to make cuts to stay in business, and some outsourcing is inevitable. But rewarding execs with big bonuses for, in effect, taking away workers’ health insurance is unconscionable. - Michael Sigman

Health Care Reform: Compassion versus Freedom? State rights and individual freedom have an important place in our society but so does the values and beliefs informing the lives of Ella Mae, my father and I. Our narrative of community and compassion yearns and demands to be included in the larger story of America. Although the health care reform bill is imperfect, it communicates to us—“we are beginning to be heard.” - John Delloro

Anti-Immigrant Leader: Illegal European Immigration Helped Finish Off Indians. By employing the charged rhetoric of immigration restrictionists, Erickson successfully engaged Beck in an extended conversation that highlighted the hypocrisy and inconsistencies that encompass the anti-immigrant movement. - Andrea Christina Nill

Haiti: Diarrhea Outbreak among Infants Imminent. Dr. Wilson is pulling no punches and is predicting the possible outbreak of infant diarrheal disease within 30 days. There is no time to waste and it seems unconscionable that CARE would issue a press release, picked up by Reuters (with a disclaimer, but no follow up) that all is well with sanitation in Haiti. -Georgianne Nienaber

Wilson and Keenan at flooded camp area in Petionville. Haitians refer to this camp as the the "Club Med" of camps.

Taking Money Out of Politics: A Grassroots Effort for Clean ElectionsTaking Money Out of Politics. A Grassroots Effort for Clean Elections. Nothing makes us feel more powerless than the corruption of our democracy by money. It undermines progress on every issue we face. If America is ever to deal with our critical problems, we’re going to need to sever the links between wealth and politics, a task made more challenging by the recent Supreme Court decision that overturned a hundred years of precedent to increase still further the influence of companies like Exxon, United Health and Goldman Sachs. - Paul Loeb

An Extraordinary Achievement. President Barack Obama Tuesday morning gave Democrats a blueprint for what to do in November: back in your districts surround yourself with ordinary Americans who would be denied care if the federal government did not step in to bend the corporate imperatives of profits and share prices to fit the human needs of people who pay their taxes, play by the rules, and whose only “crime” is to have gotten sick. - Joseph Palermo

After Health Care, Activists Must Continue Pressure for Change. One clear impact of the health care victory: a deeply demoralized activist and progressive base has been reenergized. Activists who had lost faith in Obama’s ability to get things done now have evidence that candidate Obama’s “Yes We Can” spirit has not disappeared, a boost in enthusiasm that may have greater short-term significance than the substance of the health care bill. - Randy Shaw

Cuéntame: Facebooking Teabagger Bigots. Caballero also said that “From calling Mexicans ‘filthy, stinking animals,’ to listening the likes of Tom Tancredo and Sarah Palin deliver hateful speech after hateful speech, to the increased use of violence in their words and actions, Teabaggers have come out in full force against our community.” - Berry Craig

Brandon Alter (Photo: Ricardo Mamood-Vega)

History: A Rovian Rewrite. It’s going to be an absolute scream in the next few years watching the Bush Mob try to rewrite history with the flood of books that are sure to come out. The latest screed by Rove is merely the tip of the iceberg. They have quite a chore ahead of them no doubt. Putting a positive spin on the worst administration in American history? I imagine something that tricky would be the equivalent of trying to put a smiley face on a decomposing pig. - Tom Degan

Civic Discourse Jumps the Shark. When the nation’s most trusted newsman is Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, it’s no surprise that sensible debate about public policy is at least hard to find. Lately, however, such policy debates have become positively surreal. - Adam Eran

Let the Haters Begin Mongering. The hatemongers who fear the so-called welfare state (colored to the colored section) will begin the biggest hate and fear mongering campaign that America has seen since the reconstruction. The white-sheeted Republicants will begin to cry and monger that America will become a second-class, Nazi, communist, imperialistic, socialist monarchy populated by godless Christians. - Steve Ybarra

Winograd vs. Harman in California Primary: Will U.S. or Israel’s Interests Come First? Winograd’s grassroots momentum so concerned her opponent that Harman retaliated with an ideological assault of minor relevance to most residents in her district. Rather than going toe to toe with Winograd on constituent-specific matters, Harman chose Israel as her main campaign strategy. Though Harman and Winograd are both Jewish Americans, they hold radically different views on Israel. - Linda Milazzo

Nancy Pelosi Deserves Chief Credit for Health Care Victory. I knew how proud Burton was of his protégé, Nancy Pelosi, but his description of her as a single-minded “bulldog” never jibed with my own perceptions. Until now. Because when the history of the health care reform effort of 2009-10 is written, Speaker Nancy Pelosi deserves chief credit for making it happen. - Randy Shaw

Why Are Liberals Such Wusses? Turn on the TV. Open a newspaper or a news magazine. Browse the blogosphere. The Republicans or their Tea Bagger pals are tearing us a brand new one. Liberals typically respond by turning the other cheek and crooning another chorus of “Kumbaya.” - Berry Craig

Man with Parkinson’s Sign Responds to Teabag Hecklers. Medicare paid for brain surgery that significantly mitigated my suffering. When I got my brain implants turned on, life became almost ordinary for awhile–and we all cried tears of happiness. That’s why I can honestly say that I am not driven by “EGO”; rather, I am driven by “I-OWE”. - Robert Letcher

Kucinich a Phony Liberal Leprechaun. Kucinich’s March 17 capitulation two days after flying with President Obama aboard Air Force One to his Ohio district reveals Kucinich’s true colors and shows he’s running true to form. Kucinich’s eyebrow-raising healthcare flip-flop, like his presidential campaigns, raises the question: How Left is Left? - Ed Rampell

The Final Health Care Vote and What it Really Means. It’s not nearly as momentous as the passage of Medicare in 1965 and won’t fundamentally alter how Americans think about social safety nets. But the likely passage of Obama’s health care reform bill is the biggest thing Congress has done in decades, and has enormous political significance for the future. - Robert Reich

New Study Estimates Mass Deportation Of Undocumented Immigrants Would Cost $285 Billion. Friday, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a report estimating that a strategy aimed at deporting the nation’s population of undocumented immigrants would total approximately $285 billion over five years. According to the report, a deportation-only policy would amount to $922 in new taxes for “every man, woman, and child in this country” - Andrea Nill

That Damn Pope. For how long will the Pope and Tiger Woods and John Ensign and Mark Foley and scores of other hypocritical politicians, and damn near every celebrity, real and pretend, think they can keep saying “Whoops, sorry! Didn’t mean it.” to make all well with the world again? - Charley James

Haiti: Time for an NGO Police? Keenan is especially critical of NGOs that “overstate what they have done since the quake. They want their names stamped all over this (disaster).” What she says is true. The logos of international “charitable” organizations are more numerous than the number of tents in the IDP camps. Make no mistake about it charity is “corporate business” in Haiti. - Georgianne Nienaber

Detroit as a Farm. That we’ve reached the point of entertaining the idea—of turning Detroit into a semi-rural city—reflects both a crisis of failed urban policies, and an opportunity to rebuild from the ashes. - David A. Love:.

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