LA Progressive: November 15 to 21, 2009

sarah's-winkL.A.’s Marijuana Problem (and the Solution). If they want to address the weed issue, they need to figure out how to tax it and use that money to save the jobs of the employees who are losing theirs because the City is broke. - Jasmyne Cannick

Once Again on the President, the Congress, and the Jobless. As we note, the heightened attention to the crisis, and hopefully proposals for Congressional action, the alarming jobless figures will be repeated over and over. The employment situation is dire and from all indications it is going to get worse. - Carl Bloice

Water, Water, Everywhere, but Now We Stop and Think. Given the breathless tone of the several press reports on the “great California water reform package”, you would have thought the Legislature had parted the waters, rather than simply passing five water bills. - Sheila Kuehl

Will Obama Help Ease Asia’s Racism? I believe that as time passes and the world shrinks, it becomes more difficult for discrimination to find a safe harbor. Modern technology serves to eliminate borders and expose our activities before the light of day. The nations of Asia, like the U.S., have a long way to go before they eradicate racism. - David A. Love

Seeing Red: The Budget Deficit – Past, Present and Future. The dangers of a foreign retreat from Treasury securities are slight in the short-term but increase over time as the public debt continues to grow. Americans would do well to realize that things which cannot go on forever tend not to. - Iwan Morgan

Harry Reid and What Happened to the Public Option. I’m still not giving up. I want every Senator who’s not in the pocket of the private insurers or Big Pharma to introduce and vote for a “Ted Kennedy Medicare for All” amendment to whatever bill Reid takes to the floor. And if this fails, a “Ted Kennedy Real Public Option for All” amendment. Let every Senate Democratic who doesn’t have the guts to vote for either of them be known and counted. - Robert Reich

A Church in Conflict with Itself over Homosexuality. The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) is the largest African American church and largest Pentecostal church in the United States. And as the largest denominational black church in the country, it is also the loudest in rebuking homosexuality. But using many of the gospel music industry mega-stars from COGIC, the church’s charismatic worship style shouts to a black gay male queer gospel aesthetic every Sunday. The church is conflicted with itself. - Rev. Irene Monroe

Civilian Trials for 9/11 Suspects Aren’t Enough. Thus, the main benefit of Obama’s move is partially restoring a constitutional justice system after years of Bush administration abuse. Yet at least five other Guantanamo prisoners, and likely many more, will be denied a civilian trial. - Ivan Eland

New York Times: “American Workers Are Overpaid”. If recent resistance by IBEW and UNITE HERE members are any indication, the Times’ BreakingNews folks and corporate America have a long way to go before convincing workers that it is they, rather than their high-paid, amply-bonused bosses, whose compensation should be downsized. - Randy Shaw

Gun-violenceThe Great Disconnect Between Stocks and Jobs. In the Great Recession of 2008-2009, companies are going a step further. They’re using this sharp downturn to cut payrolls even below where they were when times were good. Outsourcing abroad, setting up shop in China and elsewhere, contracting out, replacing people with software and automated machines – they’re doing whatever it takes to get payrolls down so earnings bounce up. - Robert Reich

SEIU Throws Eggs at NUHW Supporters in Los Angeles. One night after withdrawing its support for the California Democratic Party and picketing progressive politicians and labor leaders in San Francisco, SEIU threw eggs at those attending an event honoring NUHW in Los Angeles. - Randy Shaw

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Iraq. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger praised U.S. soldiers for helping Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki build and nurture Iraq’s public institutions, which are central to the American war effort. But at the same time Schwarzenegger is systematically (even gleefully) dismantling similar public institutions in California. - Joseph Palermo

SEIU Wages War on Progressives. The increasing willingness of other unions to openly back NUHW is most ominous for SEIU. It means that SEIU’s efforts to frame NUHW as a “rogue” labor organization guilty of “raiding” other unions has failed, and that the labor movement now sees NUHW as health care workers’ leading voice for democracy. - Randy Shaw

Bill O’Reilly, Pay $10,000 Bet, Says SPLC President. In an open letter addressed to O’Reilly that was posted yesterday, Cohen states “You lost the bet. Time to pay up!” Granted, O’Reilly’s commitment to the bet was tepid, at best — but Cohen points out that “in the court of public opinion, you lose. – Andrea Christina Nill

Dian Fossey Suspected Murderer Acquitted. Perhaps it is the ghost of Dian Fossey that will generate interest in a rigorous search for the truth. Perhaps outrage at the death of one will put the deaths of 3000 at the Twin Towers, 800,000 in Rwanda and six million in Congo into perspective. - Georgianne Nienaber

Obama, China, and Wishful Thinking About American Jobs. The dirty little secret on both sides of the Pacific is that both America and China are capable of producing far more than their own consumers are capable of buying. In the U.S., the root of the problem is a growing share of total income going to the richest Americans, leaving the middle class with relatively less purchasing power unless they go deep into debt. - Robert Reich

Who’s Afraid of World Government? But let’s give Glenn Beck and his ilk their due. If there were a more effective global organization, that world body would be able to reach across national boundaries to cope with global warming, defend human rights, prosecute war criminals and terrorists, regulate multinational corporations, provide famine relief, enforce arms control and disarmament, and prevent military aggression. - Lawrence S. Wittner

Swing Band. The lights are dimmed. I peer beyond the front row of saxes onto the darkened dance floor. The drummer begins a quicken intro. Sounds from Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn encourage the anxious audience as our band starts it’s first song. - S. Blair Fox

Five Things Napolitano Says Will Provide a Path to Legalization. Requiring undocumented immigrants to register with the government, pay all taxes they owe, and face certain penalties as part of earning legal status is a “tough and fair” path to legalization that’s supported by the majority of voters, not un-endorsed amnesty. - Andrea Christina Nill

Is Jerry Brown Really the Only Democrat Left Standing? Any trace of the Jerry Brown who sounded like Dennis Kucinich when he ran for President is gone. At this weekend’s California Democratic Party E-Board meeting, Brown got into an argument with Party Chair John Burton about single-payer health care. Brown insisted single payer “will not happen” – even though the state legislature passed it twice, only to have Arnold Schwarzenegger veto it.  - Paul Hogarth

AtlasSecretary Clinton — Leader or Figurehead? To be a reliable vicar, even for a president as cautious and deliberative as Barack Obama, she must still prove just how strong her backbone really is. She shouldn’t wait for the next crisis to do so. Now is the time to forge strong constituencies of her own at home and abroad, and to take those risks. At stake is not only her own reputation, but also that of her president and her country. - Kenneth Weisbrode

The Other Book from Wasilla. Lifelong learning advocate and longtime resident of Wasilla, Alaska, Charles D. Hayes wants the world to know that not all Wasilla residents are Sarah Palin fans. - Charles D.

Biggest State Party to Obama: Get Out of Afghanistan. This week begins with a significant new straw in the political wind for President Obama to consider. The California Democratic Party has just sent him a formal and clear message: Stop making war in Afghanistan. - Norman Solomon

Will We Ever Stop the Killings? New York Times columnist Bob Herbert last April 24th estimated 12,000 Americans are shot dead each year, 2,000 of them children, and 70,000 more are wounded but survive. Read my personal story. - Sherwood Ross

Reviewing Goofy Sarah’s Goofy Book. Sadly, the book only increases her appeal to that very base of the shrinking GOP while leaving moderate Republicans, independents and anyone else who actually thinks about things out in the Alaskan cold. - Charley James

Napolitano Says ‘Our Hands Are Tied’ When It Comes to Dealing with Undocumented Youth. The College Board estimates that approximately 65,000 undocumented students who have lived in the U.S. for five years or more will graduated from high school this past spring and face overwhelming barriers to higher education and continued development. - Andrea Christina Nill

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