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's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.