BELL VIEW--David Brooks took another crack at The Big Picture this week in his New York Times column. According to Mr. Brooks, America suffers from a species of political idolatry, where no one actually thinks about anything anymore, and we all just believe what our “party” tells us to believe. In Mr. Brooks’s America, the Left and the Right have each wrapped the warm blanket of tribal certainty around themselves, secure in the knowledge that “they’re wrong and we’re right.”   

PLATKIN ON PLANNING-It is not easy to remain “king of the hill” on a playground or even in the backrooms of City Hall.  But, to hold on to power, we have seen how desperate times require desperate measures. This is why the violent end of Occupy Los Angeles at City Hall’s front door marked the way for the defeat of Measure S, the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, several years later.  

DEEGAN ON LA-A pioneer in so many ways, he was also an early NIMBY-type that railed against development. He was so angry, so distraught about the constructions that were happening outside his dining room window, the stain on his view, the assault on his senses that Frank Lloyd Wright felt he had no other option than blocking out the offending view by boarding up his window. This nugget of information was provided by docents who lead tours through the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio  in Oak Park, a leafy, Wright-residence-filled western suburb of Chicago. 

EASTSIDER-The much awaited PLUM Committee meeting to finalize whatever they’re going to do with the Airbnb (Short Term Rental) Ordinance has been shrouded in a veil of secrecy and “moving the ball” hearing dates. Was it because they knew they couldn’t take action at the meeting? You tell me. 

@THE GUSS REPORT-2017 is the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers and faced a tidal wave of hatred ranging from being spit upon to receiving death threats. His doing so, and his succeeding at his job, is not just an element of baseball history, but of American history. As such, Robinson’s 42 uniform number has been retired by every team in both MLB leagues. 

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