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 REVISIONIST HISTORY

‘The Politics of Race’ …Revising the Legacy of Tom Bradley

Clinton Galloway
CORRUPTION WATCH-I recently saw a documentary titled “Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race" that was shown on PBS. What was supposed to be a documentary was little more than a gratuitous fluff piece distorting the true record of Tom Bradley. While Tom Bradley did very well for Tom Bradley, his effects upon the racial divide…

Special Report: California Saved by Whistleblowers

Ed Coghlan
PERSPECTIVE--“For democracies to work, elected leaders need to be responsive and representative, and voters must be able to hold elected officials accountable for results. Democratic integrity requires an electoral process that empowers voters and gives candidates and incumbents the incentives to listen and lead. It requires transparency…

Can High Density Housing Solve LA’s Housing Crisis? It’s Complicated!

Jason Islas
ANALYSIS-Southern California Public Radio affiliate KPCC, in partnership with the Milken Institute, assembled a panel of experts last Wednesday night to answer the question: can high-density housing solve the housing crisis currently facing L.A. County and California? For those who have been following news about the crippling housing supply crisis…

DWP: No Reform, No Rate Increase!

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG--Our Department of Water and Power is planning to have its proposed $1.4 billion increase in our water and power rates to be effective as of January 1, 2016. But this timing is unlikely because of the many questions involving the Department’s operations and finances and its dysfunctional and financially draining relationship with City…

Memo to City Leadership: Blame Yourselves if Angelenos Reject the Olympics

Ken Alpern
POLITICS-For the record, I would love to see the Olympics return to LA, and I would love to see a successful Measure R-2. That said, I think the Mayor, City Council and Downtown "leadership" have done enough mischief and backdoor wrongdoing that it will prove very difficult for Angelenos (who really are sick of City corruption) to support either…

Action Alert! Amend the Citywide Mansionization Ordinance

Shelley Wagers and Dick Platkin
The problem--Mansionization replaces older homes with oversized structures, often built byspeculators. The problem is not house size. It’s house size relative to lot size and neighborhood context. Mansionization disrupts the scale and character of established neighborhoods. Houses that loom over neighboring homes take away air, sunlight, privacy,…

Trump’s Nonsense: Latinos Shouldn’t ‘Take it Personally’

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump continues in the lead with no end in sight. He recently unveiled his plan to deport by force all 11 million undocumented workers residing in the United States. As George Will said, Trump’s roundup would be about 94 times larger than the wartime internment of 117,000 persons of…

Vision Zero 101: Bike Lanes Are NOT Parking Spaces

Sahra Sulaiman
LA STREET WATCH--Tap-tap-tap. The parking enforcement officer looked up from his phone. When he rolled down his window, I smiled and asked politely about his having parked in the bike lane on Los Angeles Street. There was a long pause. “And?” He raised his eyebrows. Having only expected some, not total, disdain, I stuttered my way through my…

Racial Quagmire in a ‘Post-Racial’ America? The Key is Economic Progress, Not Protest

Joel Kotkin
RACISM AND IDENTITY POLITICS-The election of Barack Obama promised to inaugurate the dawn of a post-racial America. Instead we seem to be stepping ever deeper into a racial quagmire. The past two months saw the violent commemoration of the Ferguson protests, “the celebration” of the 50th anniversary of the Watts riots, new police shootings in…

  • Arsenic in Your Rice?! Here’s Help

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS--Rice has been found to be high in arsenic. Arsenic is a chemical element comes in organic and inorganic, and the highly toxic inorganic is…
  • Campbell’s Soup to Remove MSG … at Long Last!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-You can’t get more American than Campbell’s soup. This company has been gracing our grocery shelves since 1859. With iconic artists like…
  • Probiotics Instead of Weight Loss Surgery?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-In a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism on August 4, they have proven a link between weight loss surgeries and gut microbes. It…





Dream Team. Sarah Palin interviews the Donald

Downton Abbey. Final season promo


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

When the Big Lie Works

POLITICS - If you wonder why a desperate Mitt Romney rushed to lie about President Obama’s handling of crises in Cairo and Benghazi and make the ugly claim that Obama’s first response was “to sympathize with those who waged the attacks,” the latest poll from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life helps fill in the blanks.

 

Unbelievably, the poll finds that the percentage of Republicans who believe that Barack Obama is Muslim, not Christian, has doubled since October, 2008. It was actually a little higher in August, 2010, right before the GOP administered its midterm “shellacking.”

But in the most recent Pew poll on the topic, in July 2012, an astonishing 34 percent of “conservative Republicans” and 30 percent of all Republicans described the president as Muslim.Overall, 17 percent of registered voters say Obama is Muslim while 31 percent say they don’t know what religion he is; only 49 percent know the truth, that he is Christian.

How is it possible that almost four years after we elected Obama president, the number of Republicans who think he’s Muslim could double, and that less than half of all registered voters know what religion he professes (in a country where religion matters)? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because virtually every Republican has either encouraged or tolerated the far-right lunatic fringe, from crackpot “birthers” who insist the president wasn’t born here, to Romney campaign surrogates like John Sununu who just last month insisted the president “needs to learn what it means to be an American.”

When House Speaker John Boehner dismissed evidence that a growing number of Republicans believe Obama was a Muslim, telling NBC’s David Gregory “it’s not my job to tell the American people what to think;” when presidential candidate Rick Santorum refused to correct a supporter who called Obama “an avowed Muslim,” saying “the President’s a big boy, he can defend himself and his record;” when Romney likewise remained silent when an audience member accused Obama of “treason” and later told reporters, “I don’t correct all of the questions that get asked of me;” and of course, when Romney “joked” that “nobody’s ever asked to see my birth certificate” – well,  moments like those reinforced the big lie and encouraged the right wing to continue to believe it.

On one level, though, you can understand it, because it turns out that playing up fears about Obama’s religion may be the GOP’s only chance to beat him. It  may not even be enough that the president is black: even some white southerners are telling pollsters that they’d rather vote for the black guy than for the rich guy. To be fair, some anti-Mormon prejudice also factors into that equation. But you don’t see Obama or his surrogates playing up fears about Romney’s Mormon beliefs to gain votes.

I’ve said it before: Romney and Republicans have every right to criticize the president’s handling of the aftermath of uprisings in Egypt and Libya, as do Democrats who have reservations about Obama’s Middle East policies. But they don’t have the right to lie about it. It’s impossible to ignore the way that Romney’s accusation not-so-subtly plays into that pervasive GOP belief that the president shares a religion with our enemies. Obama is not merely weak in dealing with them, in the Romney narrative; he actively “sympathizes” with them and delivered “an apology for America’s values” instead of a rebuke.

I wrote yesterday that “Mitt Romney will never be president” because Americans will be appalled by his deceit. I still think that. But Alex Pareene had a smart rejoinder, noting that the backdrop of rioting Muslims attacking American embassies (which continue in Yemen today) “is the sort of thing that will make certain voters more, shall we say, sympathetic to the candidate who is more shameless about hating Muslims. Romney understands this and is willing to capitalize on it.” He’s right. I’m counting on more Americans being appalled by Romney’s shamelessness than reassured by it, but it’s always risky to bet against the effectiveness of GOP fear-mongering.

Romney has made clear that he’s never going to pivot to the middle to win over independent voters; he obviously thinks his only path to victory is firing up the backward, racist and xenophobic elements of the GOP base. Now we know that strategy has succeeded in doubling the percent of conservatives who think the president shares a religion with people they see, one dimensionally, as the enemy. Well played, Mr. Romney. We’ll see where it gets you in November.

(Joan Walsh is editor at large Salon.com … where this column first appeared … and the author of "What's the Matter with White People: Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was.")
-cw




CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 74
Pub: Sept 14, 2012

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