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LA Progressive: October 11 to 17, 2009

This week's articles in the LA PROGRESSIVE

GOP Recruiter Disassociates From GOP to Register More Latinos as Republicans. Blase says she was motivated to start Somos Republicans because “Obama sold Latinos down the river” by not tackling comprehensive immigration reform during his first year as president. --Andrea Christina Nill


Why President Obama Won The Nobel Peace Prize. Whether President Obama is to be tolerated or followed is still playing out, but what is clear is that the world is ready to follow his lead. The world is also watching to see if Obama’s election was a sincere transition toward a different “change” mindset or a false signal while America ideologically recasts itself. --Anthony Asadullah Samad

The Prairie Perspective. When the total number of honor students in China in any given year outnumbers the total number of students in public education in America, that should give us pause. --Joel Price

Is Barney Frank Relevant? But as one of the most vocal critics of the National Equality March that took place in Washington this weekend, Frank has many LGBTQ Americans nationwide wondering if he has become a bureaucratic gatekeeper. --Rev. Irene Monroe

Will Obama Save America from Capitalism. If the Obama administration wants to be a truly transformational force in American history, rather than a slightly-better-than-average, one-term presidency with good intentions, it will give America the new New Deal. --David A. Love

Open Letter: How to Leverage the Prize. You should use the clout and credibility from the prize to convene serious, multiparty negotiations aimed at verifiably eliminating nuclear weapons from all arsenals, backed up with cooperative intelligence-gathering to ensure that non-state actors do not acquire or independently develop such weapons. --John Peeler

Why the Dow Broke 10,000, and Why You Should Still Watch Your Wallet. Anyone who hasn’t learned by now that there’s almost no relationship between the Dow and the real economy deserves to lose his or her shirt in the Wall Street casino. --Robert Reich

Five Facts About Afghanistan. Ultimately, in a republic, escalating an unpopular war is political suicide. If the public and Congress are balking at sending a measly 40,000 additional troops, they will not ever be willing to send the number of troops needed to win. --Ivan Eland

Gay Activist Divisions Are Political, Not Generational. It had to be frustrating for Sunday’s rally organizers President Obama get a standing ovation from HRC at a gala event for simply repeating his unfulfilled campaign pledges on gay rights. This smacks of the type of lack of political accountability that can kill progressive change. --Randy Shaw

Satellite Imagery Proves Catastropic Failure of Joint Rwanda/Congo Military Exercizes. Seeing is believing. For the past ten months, human rights organizations, political sources, eyewitness reports, and secret communiqués from remnants of Laurent Nkunda loyalists have reported that joint military operations between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been a catastrophic failure. --Georgianne Nienaber

The Chandlers Invent and Reinvent L.A. Those of us who were a part of the Golden Age cannot hope to see its likes again in today’s faltering fortunes of print journalism. Perhaps a sequel to this book would be not so much inventing L.A., but reinventing the Los Angeles Times. --Al Martinez

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Can Obama Redefine the “Real” in Realpolitik? The Nobel Committee Is Betting That He Can. Indeed, as long as the United States acts from the perspective of the world’s major imperial power, it will never be able to lead the way towards peace, even with Obama at the helm. --Mark LeVine

Weighing In On “Black Strategic Alternatives” For Education (and Anything Else). or the past three years, a group of black men within 100 Black Men of Los Angeles have been studying the successful publicly funded single-gender school of our New York chapter, The Eagle Academy for Excellence, as a possible solution to the dilemma facing black boys in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). --Anthony Asadullah Samad

The Audacity of Greed: How Private Health Insurers Just Blew Their Cover. So, insurance companies, we’ve got news for you. We’re going to make sure Americans have the freedom to choose a public insurance option that’s cheaper and better, and you’re going to have to work hard to keep them your customers. --Robert Reich

Fire McChrystal and Get Out of Afghanistan. McChrystal, much like Gen. Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War, has publicly spoken out about decisions that are the exclusive purview of the elected civilian leadership. At great cost to his popularity, President Harry Truman cast a great blow for the critical republican principle of civilian control over the military by firing the insubordinate MacArthur. President Obama could do the same with far less cost; McChrystal just took his job and is not a popular war hero, as was MacArthur. --Ivan Eland

Empty Hands on the Climate, and What Obama Needs to Do. Why has so little been accomplished? Because coal, shale, oil, big manufacturers, and utilities — the big old polluters (BOPs) — have beaten back anything better. --Robert Reich

Is Obese the New “Thick”? The idea of being “thick” has been in circulation in the black community for generations. It’s been presented not only as a good thing, but a preferred package. It’s a combination of booty, hips and thighs, set off by a comparatively narrow waistline. --K. Danielle Edwards

Reaction to President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize is Another “Teaching Moment”. If the media would only cover Obama’s peace prize win with half as much enthusiasm as they did Bush’s landing on the aircraft carrier we might have made some measurable progress. --Joseph Palermo

Report Details Dangers of Denying Health Care Coverage to Legal Immigrants. Unfortunately, the majority of the debate over immigration and health care reform has taken place in a “no fact zone.” Immigrant advocates know this place well—myths and misinformation are repeated and spread, while factual information that could aid good policy is largely ignored. --Michele Waslin

Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize Means a Lot to Asian Americans, If We All Want It. The debate around Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize can be another boxing match between left and right or a tool to bring us together with a newfound global credibility and promise to recognize the integral role we play in the world. This is crucial not only for AAPIs but all of us. --John Delloro

Defense Department Ignores Civilian Contractor Toll in Iraq and Afghanistan. What it all means is that nine years after the launch of the most contractor-intensive war in U.S. history, nobody is sure how many contractors there are, what they are doing, or how many have been killed or wounded. --T. Christian Miller

Empty Classroom Desks

Step Up To Mike’s Challenge. The Democrats may control the House, Senate, and the Presidency, but the corporate sadists, like health insurers and Wall Street financiers, control the Democrats and Republicans. As long as there are back room deals with big money special interests, the American people will suffer. --Linda Milazzo

JPL Employee Privacy Fight Comes to a Head. There was nothing in the order about invading anyone’s privacy. According to Nelson, “Bureaucrats deep in the bowels of the Department of Commerce cooked up the requirement for a background investigation.” --Dick Price