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 'A PROMISE IS A PROMISE'

Special to CityWatch: Can Jorge Ramos Save The American Immigrant Dream?

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA- President Barack Obama’s disappointing failure to champion immigration reform, what The Washington Post called his “immigration train wreck,” may be the consummate example of the failure of the Obama presidency on Latino issues. It is also a tell-tale sign of the potential trouble the Democratic Party could find itself in…

Museum Row’s Billion Dollar Block Party

Tim Deegan
EXCLUSIVE TO CITYWATCH--City planners, developers, community members and other stakeholders are having a block party in the Miracle Mile: no champagne but plenty of stress served to order, depending on who you're aligned with. Issues with development: take a seat. Raising hundreds of millions of dollars for development, take several seats. Here…

What Is It About The Homeless That Makes Us So Angry?

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD--It was a long public hearing at my neighborhood council the other night. Outraged, obviously frightened homeowners were pitted against advocates for the homeless. At least that's how it started, but it's not how it ended. It's curious, but in this contentious culture of ours, it turned out to be possible to have a meeting of the…

Kill the Transit Tax, Kill the Olympics

Ken Alpern
ALPERN AT LARGE-You know, it's indeed possible that there will be enough voters who won't remember (or care about) the current shenanigans and budget games in the City of LA--enough to allow a 2/3 vote to pass a new sales tax measure in November 2016. Then again, maybe enough voters will remember, and the initiative will (like its predecessor…

Headlines Don’t Lie – LA Needs Leadership

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-I’m talking to you as a man who policed Los Angeles streets for over 30 years and established policy for another 14 years -- two years as an elected Charter Reform Commissioner and 12 years as an elected Los Angeles City Councilman. Take a look at the latest Los Angeles News and Breaking Headlines. They tell a frightening story…

Airbnb Just Floats by the PLUM Committee

Tony Butka
THE CITY-I was going to do my usual flip and cynical kind of a piece on the Airbnb hearing, but the issue is too important, and just maybe, all is not lost. The Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee hearing was scheduled in the Public Works Hearing Room, but so many people attended that they had to move it to City Council Chambers…

Bikeshare Comes to Los Angeles … Sort Of

Richard Risemberg
WAITING ON LA--Here’s photographic confirmation that bikeshare has arrived in LA: Not the City of Los Angeles, though; not quite yet. That’s a live bikeshare station in Santa Monica, on Main Street, next to one of the two bike corrals that grace the block south of Ashland. (There’s another and very busy bike corral two blocks north.) This is a…

The Summer of My Discontent ... LA Version

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN--I think there is such a thing as the "Dog Days of Summer" since my usual sunny disposition ... glass half full demeanor ... seems to be out of sorts of late. There is a litany of things that are annoying me, aside from the heat. I am disappointed in our local government ... not all of them, but a majority. Like many of you I studied the…

Marilyn Who? Ask Councilman Krekorian or Mayor Garcetti

Richard Lee Abrams
PRESERVATION POLITICS-Who doesn’t like Marilyn Monroe? Councilmember Krekorian, that’s who! Why else would Councilmember Paul Krekorian support the demolition of one of the most significant homes of Marilyn Monroe? With the blessings of Mayor Garcetti, who believes in eradicating as much of Hollywood’s history as possible, and with the support of…





Record Breaking! Josh Groban sings Trump


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The Invisible Man

POLITICS - With the Republican presidential nomination sewed up, Mitt Romney is now pretending to be acceptable to the moderate voters he will need to win in November.

Gone are the conservative promises of the primary: “I know conservatism because I have lived conservatism. ... I was a severely Republican governor.” Note that his so-called severity didn’t prevent him from creating Romneycare, the model for the Affordable Health Care Act. He fakes to the center, although his ultimate policy goal is on the right, dismantling the safety net, wiping out the health care law and assuring the wealthy of continued low taxes. Or is it? What does he really believe?

In Romney’s present incarnation, he is fixated on joblessness—blaming President Barack Obama without offering any solutions of his own. This is a path designed to appeal to moderates as well as conservatives.

But he can’t fool the true conservative believers. They’ve got X-ray eyes, capable of boring into the depths of a faker’s soul. And they spotted apostasy when Romney named Mike Leavitt, former governor of Utah, to head the transition team if the Republicans win the presidency. Leavitt is conservative, but he runs a consulting business specializing in hooking up state governments with the insurance exchanges that are a major part of Obamacare, just as they are under Romneycare.

“There are many, many Republicans who have come to terms with supporting Mitt Romney because, despite their reservations, we can all agree he is far better than Barack Obama,” Erick Erickson wrote on his conservative Red State blog this week. “One issue, above all others, still gives many of the base qualms about supporting Romney. He never distanced himself from Romneycare and over the past several years [has] gone back and forth between definitive statements on full repeal of Obamacare and partial repeal of Obamacare.”

“We’re troubled by it,” Dean Clancy, who runs health care advocacy for the conservative group FreedomWorks, told Talking Points Memo. “We’re very concerned. The tea party grass roots have always feared that Gov. Romney would be a weak standard-bearer because of Romneycare. This choice only reinforces those doubts.”

Talking Points Memo quoted another blogger, Michael Cannon of the libertarian Cato Institute, as saying “Romney’s appointment of Leavitt is a first step toward flip-flopping ... or Etch A Sketching ... on Obamacare repeal.”

These concerns were an interesting counterpoint to the week’s more visible development. The mainstream media, including the pundit branch, discovered political brilliance in the Romney campaign, unnoticed during the primaries. The media also began the process of prematurely writing off Obama as a loser.

The main evidence for that were the May job growth figures, less than half of what was expected, and former President Bill Clinton’s assessment of Romney’s business career as “sterling.” In today’s media world, where every blip is considered a game-changing event, these were portrayed as decisive, even though Clinton a couple of days later said a Romney victory would be “calamitous for our country and the world.”

Actually, things weren’t bad for the president. Some hopeful figures were ignored amid the praise for Romney and the criticism of the Obama campaign.

Summer employment of teens was off to its strongest start since 2006, The Associated Press reported, citing a study by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Last month, it was 157,000 compared with 71,000 a year ago and 6,000 in May 2010. A Gallup survey showed consumer spending was up, as was consumer confidence in the economy.

This echoed a survey quoted by conservative writer William Kristol in The Weekly Standard that found that 26 percent of those polled said the economy is improving at an acceptable rate, and 40 percent thought it was getting better “but the rate of progress is still unacceptable.” A total of 32 percent thought the economy is not getting better at all. Republican strategist David Winston did the survey of 1,000 registered voters.

Kristol wrote that Romney could lose most of that crucial 40 percent if he “fails to present a compelling alternative. ... This is a winnable election for Mitt Romney. But he can’t win simply by asserting that things are worse than they’ve ever been.”

The fact is that Romney doesn’t have a compelling alternative. During the primaries, he was for Republican Paul Ryan’s economic plan, endorsed by the Republican House, which would cut trillions in federal spending over the next decade, dismantle Medicare and continue low taxes for the affluent.

He’s still for it, a top campaign aide said over the weekend. But Ryan doesn’t seem to be his constant sidekick as he was just a few months ago. Romney has clearly sidelined Ryan and his controversial budget plan in this new phase of his campaign, leaving the candidate, once again, without much of a program.

The right doesn’t trust Romney. Nor will the center, so vital to his campaign. That’s because, by Election Day, Americans will still have no idea where he would take them. Hopefully, they will see him for what he is—a hollow man.

(Bill Boyarsky is a journalist and blogs at truthdig.com where this column first appeared.)
-cw

Tags: Bill Boyarsky, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Republicans, GOP, election, President







CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 47
Pub: June 12, 2012




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