FROM Scott Timberg
Culture Crash When the recession hit in 2008, it gutted the middle class. Among the hardest hit was the creative middle class: architects, musicians, painters, graphic designers, dancers, and journalists. People like Scott Timberg. He used to cover the arts for the Los Angeles Times, but when the economy tanked, so did his prospects. He lost his job, his house and his confidence. So he wrote a book about it. We talk to him about his experience and what he believes it says about the economy as a whole.
Could the Creative Class Be Priced Out of LA? From Santa Monica to Venice to Highland Park — and now the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles — the painters, sculptors, musicians and dancers who made those and other neighborhoods centers of artistic creativity can’t afford to live or work there anymore.
Those Old Time Oscars The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is playing up nostalgia in its ads for Sunday's Oscar Awards , "celebrate the movies in all of us." Some call that an excuse for a weak field of pictures chosen by mostly aging white men, out of touch with contemporary audiences. The identity of the 5765 voting members of AMPAS has been a carefully guarded secret, but extensive research by the Los Angeles Times revealed that 94 percent are Caucasian; 77 percent are male; and the median age is 62. But films about the past — and the way movies used to be made — may also reflect real anxiety in a film industry besieged by technical change in the digital age. Can Billy Crystal jack up this year's TV ratings? After all the preliminaries, are there any surprises left?
President Obama and the American Jobs Act President Obama challenged Congress last night to shut down the "political circus" in Washington and work together--before next year's election. He said everything in his American Jobs Act had been approved in the past by both Democrats and Republicans. He told them to pass it no less than 15 times. He asked Americans to demand action and today — as promised --he took his $447-billion program out on the road. The first stop is Richmond, Virginia,in the district of the Republican minority leader in Congress, Eric Cantor. Is it "bold" enough for Democrats to rally behind it? Is there any chance for support from the GOP? Will voters decide that the "circus" is still going on?
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Trump, the GOP and the rule of law Conservatives — and some Republicans — are criticizing the President for "the mess he made" in firing FBI Director James Comey. We hear about a potential successor, the possibility of "obstruction of justice" and the constitutional separation of powers.