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Archive for February 14th, 2010

Privatizing History in Downtown L.A.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Privatizing History in Downtown L.A.
Olvera Street, the oldest part of downtown Los Angeles, is a pocket of near-authentic Mexican culture where one can buy chorizos, clothing and handicrafts. But the city’s budget crisis is leading to a push to privatize the monument, giving way to an influx of Starbucks and Pollo Loco on the historical street. —JCL LA Eastside: It’s unfortunate, but many of us Los Angeles natives take Olvera Street aka El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument or La Placita Olvera for granted. It’s the place to buy taquitos, folklorico shoes and other Mexican handicrafts. We go there to eat, stroll, take pictures on donkeys and just hangout. Every year they put on great programs to celebrate different holidays. I have fond memories of winning the best costume contest for Mardi Gras one year (Chicken Girl!) My mom always tells her story of spotting Marlon Brando sitting in the Plaza one afternoon, staring forlornly into space. For myself and my family, Olvera Street is an institution, a part of our personal history. I recently read the book Los Angeles’s Olvera Street by William Estrada and was surprised by the history of this Los Angeles landmark. If it weren’t for the efforts of Christine Sterling, who recognized the area as a historic treasure, the whole street (actually it’s kind of an alley) would have been demolished and long forgotten by now. Well, it’s time we all channel our inner Christine Sterlings because we received an urgent email tonight from a LA Eastside reader regarding a very important meeting tomorrow. It seems the City of Los Angeles, in it’s typical short-sighted way wants to privatize Olvera Street. I’m sure it sounds good to the CAOs and accountants to do so, but our history is much more valuable than the small profits number-crunchers try to come up with. This is not to say that there is no room for change or new ideas but privatization usually brings homogenization and corporate culture something Olvera Street, for all it’s faults, refreshingly lacks. Our city has enough malls. Read more

Olvera Street, the oldest part of downtown Los Angeles, is a pocket of near-authentic Mexican culture where one can buy chorizos, clothing and handicrafts. But the city’s budget crisis is leading to a push to privatize the monument, giving way to an influx of Starbucks and Pollo Loco on the historical street. —JCL

LA Eastside:

It’s unfortunate, but many of us Los Angeles natives take Olvera Street aka El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument or La Placita Olvera for granted. It’s the place to buy taquitos, folklorico shoes and other Mexican handicrafts. We go there to eat, stroll, take pictures on donkeys and just hangout. Every year they put on great programs to celebrate different holidays. I have fond memories of winning the best costume contest for Mardi Gras one year (Chicken Girl!) My mom always tells her story of spotting Marlon Brando sitting in the Plaza one afternoon, staring forlornly into space. For myself and my family, Olvera Street is an institution, a part of our personal history.

I recently read the book Los Angeles’s Olvera Street by William Estrada and was surprised by the history of this Los Angeles landmark. If it weren’t for the efforts of Christine Sterling, who recognized the area as a historic treasure, the whole street (actually it’s kind of an alley) would have been demolished and long forgotten by now.

Well, it’s time we all channel our inner Christine Sterlings because we received an urgent email tonight from a LA Eastside reader regarding a very important meeting tomorrow. It seems the City of Los Angeles, in it’s typical short-sighted way wants to privatize Olvera Street. I’m sure it sounds good to the CAOs and accountants to do so, but our history is much more valuable than the small profits number-crunchers try to come up with. This is not to say that there is no room for change or new ideas but privatization usually brings homogenization and corporate culture something Olvera Street, for all it’s faults, refreshingly lacks. Our city has enough malls.

Read more

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Bloomberg News Files ‘Extraordinary Lawsuit’ To Crack Fed Secrecy Around Bank Bailout

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Bloomberg News Files ‘Extraordinary Lawsuit’ To Crack Fed Secrecy Around Bank Bailout
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Santorum falsely claims Obama has not condemned Iranian regime

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2010 5:44 am by HL

Santorum falsely claims Obama has not condemned Iranian regime

During On the Record, Fox News contributor Rick Santorum criticized President Obama’s approach toward Iran, stating that the administration is not “condemn[ing] the regime for being evil and persecuting their people.” In fact, Obama has said, “The United States joins with the international community in strongly condemning the violent and unjust suppression of innocent Iranian citizens, which has apparently resulted in detentions, injuries, and even death.”

Santorum criticizes Obama for not condemning Iran

Santorum: What we’re not doing is “to go out and condemn the regime for being evil and persecuting their people.” From the February 12 edition of Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren:

SANTORUM: In fact, what we’re doing is, in fact, not doing the other thing that we did in Poland and we did with the Soviet Union, which was to go out and condemn the regime for being evil and persecuting their people. Instead, what the president is doing is trying to engage them. Trying to talk to them. Trying to convince them to give up their weapons and instead — their potential weapons — instead of siding with the pro-democracy movement. He has not sided with them. He has said that they — that Iran shouldn’t torture them. But that’s not exactly embracing the movement in trying to overturn the regime.

Obama has condemned “the violent and unjust suppression of innocent Iranian citizens”

Obama: “The United States joins with the international community in strongly condemning the violent and unjust suppression of innocent Iranian citizens.” In a statement made on December 28, 2009, Obama said:

OBAMA: [L]et me also briefly address the events that have taken place over the last few days in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The United States joins with the international community in strongly condemning the violent and unjust suppression of innocent Iranian citizens, which has apparently resulted in detentions, injuries, and even death.

For months, the Iranian people have sought nothing more than to exercise their universal rights. Each time they have done so, they have been met with the iron fist of brutality, even on solemn occasions and holy days. And each time that has happened, the world has watched with deep admiration for the courage and the conviction of the Iranian people who are part of Iran’s great and enduring civilization.

What’s taking place within Iran is not about the United States or any other country. It’s about the Iranian people and their aspirations for justice and a better life for themselves. And the decision of Iran’s leaders to govern through fear and tyranny will not succeed in making those aspirations go away.

Obama: [W]e support the human rights of the women marching through the streets of Iran.” During his State of the Union address on January 27:

OBAMA: As we have for over 60 years, America takes these actions because our destiny is connected to those beyond our shores. But we also do it because it is right. That’s why, as we meet here tonight, over 10,000 Americans are working with many nations to help the people of Haiti recover and rebuild. (Applause.) That’s why we stand with the girl who yearns to go to school in Afghanistan; why we support the human rights of the women marching through the streets of Iran; why we advocate for the young man denied a job by corruption in Guinea. For America must always stand on the side of freedom and human dignity.


‘Warning: Tea Party In Danger’: Leader Slams Palin As ‘Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2010 5:43 am by HL

‘Warning: Tea Party In Danger’: Leader Slams Palin As ‘Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing’
A prominent Tea Party leader from Texas is warning that the movement “is becoming nothing more than a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party” and slamming Sarah Palin as representing “a growing insider’s attack to the heart of the Tea Party.”

Lawsuit: Blackwater Put Filipino Prostitute On Government Tab
A lawsuit filed by two former employees of Blackwater charges that controversial security contractor defrauded the U.S. government, including charging it for strippers and prostitutes, the New York Times reports.


Just Ask

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Just Ask


California Cops Exploit DUI Checkpoints to Bring in Money For Cities, Police

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

California Cops Exploit DUI Checkpoints to Bring in Money For Cities, Police
California police are turning DUI checkpoints into profitable operations that are far more likely to seize cars from unlicensed minority motorists than catch drunken drivers.

California police are turning DUI checkpoints into profitable operations that are far more likely to seize cars from unlicensed minority motorists than catch drunken drivers.


Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Be Careful What You Wish For
As I’ve said before the right wing of American Politics is a pretty fractious bunch. It now appears that the Pro-business wing is getting pretty worried about the anti-business rhetoric of the Tea Party Populists. Conventional wisdom is that…



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Far-Right Radio Host Savages Palin: It?s ?Suicide? For Republicans To Choose Palin As Our 2012 Nominee

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

Far-Right Radio Host Savages Palin: It?s ?Suicide? For Republicans To Choose Palin As Our 2012 Nominee
On Thursday, a Washington Post-ABC News poll had some bad news for Sarah Palin: 71 percent of the American public — including 52 percent of Republicans — don’t think the former Alaska governor is qualified to be president. This week, far-right radio host Michael Savage voiced some of these GOP complaints, saying that the Party […]

On Thursday, a Washington Post-ABC News poll had some bad news for Sarah Palin: 71 percent of the American public — including 52 percent of Republicans — don’t think the former Alaska governor is qualified to be president. This week, far-right radio host Michael Savage voiced some of these GOP complaints, saying that the Party would essentially be committing “suicide” if it made Palin its 2012 nominee:

If you want Obama for a second term, just make sure that Sarah Palin is the Republican nominee. … And I am telling you, that if they make that idiotic mistake of pushing her as their lead candidate, it’s over; Obama will get a second term, no matter how bad his presidency has been. That’s my opinion. It’s one man’s opinion. It doesn’t mean I don’t agree with her politically. It doesn’t mean I think she’s a bad person.

She’s not electable as president. She doesn’t have…the gravitas. He doesn’t either. That doesn’t mean — She’s not the right person. We need a businessman. We need someone with guts, preferably someone who’s served in the military. That means we have nobody. And please don’t tell me about Mr. Brown. God! Please! I warned you! Don’t Obama-size these guys.

It’s ironic that Savage criticizes Palin for not being a “businessman,” considering that that line is a frequent attack she throws at Democrats. In her recent speech to the National Tea Party convention, she cited her experience with Todd’s “commercial fishing business” as evidence that she knows how to “tighten our belts” and “cut back budgets” — unlike the politicians in Washington.

Savage also went after Palin’s arrangement with Fox News, saying that it was unethical and disingenuous:

You know what disturbs me? This is the part that worries me a little bit. She went to work for Fox News, and at the same time, she’s fundamentally running for the presidency. At the same time. I mean, the last I checked, you can’t do that. The last I checked is that you have to leave a media job in order to announce your candidacy. What is this? You can’t have it both ways. Either you’re running, or you’re not. Don’t play a game with the American people. We’re not stupid.

Listen here:

Savage’s alternatives for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination? Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) or James Inhofe (R-OK). (HT: Andrew Sullivan)

New poll finds more Americans in favor of eliminating the filibuster.
One of the greatest obstacles to passing progressive legislation in Congress has been the use of the filibuster in the Senate. With upwards of “40 cloture votes since the start of the 111th Congress in January, this Senate is on pace to record the second-largest number of filibuster roll calls,” transforming what was intended to […]

One of the greatest obstacles to passing progressive legislation in Congress has been the use of the filibuster in the Senate. With upwards of “40 cloture votes since the start of the 111th Congress in January, this Senate is on pace to record the second-largest number of filibuster roll calls,” transforming what was intended to be a seldom-used procedural tactic into an all-out tool for obstructionism. Now, a new CBS/New York Times poll finds that more Americans support ending the filibuster and requiring legislation to pass by a simple majority:

As you may know, the Senate operates under procedures that effectively require 60 votes, out of 100, for most legislation to pass, allowing a minority of as few as 41 senators to block a majority. Do you think this procedure should remain in place, or do you think it should be changed so that legislation is passed with a simple majority?

Should remain 44
Should be changed 50
[Don’t Know] 6

Changing the filibuster would not be without precedent. In 1975, the filibuster threshold was lowered from 67 to 60. Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) have introduced legislation that would “change Senate procedure to create a four-step process that would eventually allow a majority of 51 votes, rather than 60, for cloture — ending debate and moving to a final vote on passage of a bill.” Yet Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has “dismissed the effort” as unlikely to succeed. OpenLeft’s Chris Bowers has an ongoing whip count for the effort to pass Harkin’s reforms here.


Success of President Obama’s crackdown on lobbying questioned

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2010 5:36 am by HL

Success of President Obama’s crackdown on lobbying questioned
President Obama is escalating his war on K Street, proposing a series of tough restrictions a year after he first issued policies aimed at tamping down the influence of lobbyists.


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Don’t Treat Terrorists Like Common Criminals

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 14th, 2010 5:32 am by HL

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