LA Times: "Democrats Step Up"

Recent plummeting congressional approval and confidence ratings have been spun by the right and left alike as a damning indictment of the ineffectiveness of the Democratic majority. The analysis ranges from "Democrats promised too much" to "Democrats are going to pay in '08." But what's been conspicuously absent from the discussion is what Democrats actually have achieved recently. So it was nice to see The LA Times editorial page go against the grain and heap some high praise on the Democrats in Congress.

FIRST GUN CONTROL, now fuel economy. Congressional Democrats still have a lot of work ahead to get their groundbreaking bills past both houses and the president's desk, but you can't say they're not leading a radical change in direction.

On June 13, the House passed what could become the first major gun-control law in a decade, a bill aimed at strengthening a federal database used in background checks for gun buyers. A week later, the Senate approved an energy bill that would improve mileage for the nation's automotive fleet for the first time in nearly 20 years.

The editorial makes an important distinction between the priorities of a congress led by Democrats vs. one led by Republicans.

Still, these measures would have been inconceivable while Republicans controlled both houses during the first six years of the Bush administration, a period characterized by the disgraceful decision to allow a decade-old assault weapons ban to expire in 2004 and successive energy bills focused on maximizing fossil fuel production at the expense of the environment.

The Times is not oblivious to their failures, of course, citing Iraq withdrawal and the immigration bill among them, and concedes that the energy bill is imperfect:

There was one sour note to last week's passage of the energy bill: An amendment that would have required the nation to get 15% of its electricity from renewable sources was defeated. Senate leaders should revive it in the future.

But says:

their surprising success in other areas is worthy of praise.

I have to say I'm still trying to get over the rightward-shifting L.A. Times editorial page using terms like "groundbreaking" and "radical change" to describe Democrats. There's even a flattering picture to go with it on the website. It's nice to see such a sharp tack away from the dominant narrative and hopefully more outlets will follow suit.

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United we Stand - Divided we Fall: the MSM and Us

Through some of the posts in a recent Mydd thread about Obama and Edwards, it was reinforced to me how we often let the MSM frame how we discuss issues. How they often have an interest in creating a story where there really is none. And how sometimes we buy into it and forgo critical thinking. I think we all know better but its easy to get sucked in. And we end up using their spin to attack each other.

No, I'm not talking about the "cute" comments (which I was disaapointed in), but about a link someone posted to an LA Times story about Edwards here.

Its a good article for Edwards, well most of it is. Except for that 3rd paragraph which was a bit shocking (to me).

More below

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Save the progressive comic strip "Candorville" in the LA Times

The LA Times, on orders from its conservative corporate overseers in Chicago, cancelled the only funny, progressive comic strip they had left. A couple days ago, they dropped "Candorville." If you haven't read Candorville, it's like The Daily Show or Doonesbury, only with a mainly Black and Latino cast (now that Boondocks is gone, it's the ONLY political satire on the comics page created from a non-White cartoonist's perspective). It regularly points out the wrongdoing of our "leaders," and the absurdity of the "culture warriors" with current and historical facts. You can check it out at http://www.candorville.com/wordpress/

The LA Times also dropped La Cucaracha, a progressive strip that I always seem to agree with, but rarely find to be as funny or as insightful and fact-filled as Candorville. But they reinstated La Cucaracha after the cartoonist got a few hundred people to write in. I'm hoping to do the same for Candorville, mainly because sine they fired Robert Scheer, it's the last strong, take-no-prisoners, progressive voice in that increasingly-right wing paper, and because it manages to get its point across with elegance and good-natured humor.

Please contact:
Los Angeles Times Readers' Representative Office
E-mail: readers.rep@latimes.com
Telephone message line: (877) 554-4000
Fax: (213) 237-3535
Postal mail: 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

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Insiders Poll: Romney, Clinton Lead

On Saturday, the LA Times released a long poll of Repbublican and Democratic insiders (members of the RNC and the DNC).  The results (and I've looked here to try to avoid double posting) would seem to be disastrous for former front runner John McCain, a bit of real cheer for Mitt Romney, and (overall) encouraging to all Democratsic contenders not named Hillary Clinton.

The poll gives first choices, second choices, and even a response for will not vote for as well as a "strongest" candidate rating. So let's get to the data (and it was over 30 pages).

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