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January 25, 2010 | By Susan King
After being shut out at the Golden Globes last week and the Screen Actors Guild awards on Saturday night, "The Hurt Locker" won the Producers Guild of America's Darryl F. Zanuck producer of the year award on Sunday. The award went to producers Kathryn Bigelow (who also directed), Mark Boal (who wrote the screenplay), Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro. The heart-pounding drama about a bomb-defusing unit in the Iraq war had won several recent critics' honors but lost footing after the Globes chose "Avatar" as best dramatic film and the SAG film ensemble award went to "Inglourious Basterds."
October 28, 2009 | By Jonathan E. Fielding
The Times' Oct. 19 editorial, "Fighting swine flu," criticizes the vaccination efforts of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (which I head) for not focusing enough on schools. While it is true that L.A. County's inoculation program isn't as focused on schools as New York City's is, The Times' criticism of our efforts reflects a misunderstanding by the editorial board of our outreach to schools, our extensive H1N1 vaccination efforts and the unique features of our county.
December 22, 2009 | By Noam Levey
Senate Democrats took another step toward passing the sweeping healthcare overhaul before Christmas, adopting a package of modifications to their legislation and defeating another Republican-led filibuster early today. The package includes a series of compromises worked out by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) with other Democrats. Senators approved it, 60 to 39. Then they voted to limit debate, also 60 to 39. Republican Sen. James M. Inhofe, of Oklahoma, was absent.
February 17, 2010 | By Pat McOsker
In writing about the city of Los Angeles' growing budget crisis in his Feb. 13 Op-Ed column, Tim Rutten expresses concern for "employees who aren't police officers or firefighters" and the fact that the mayor may choose to lay off many of them in the months ahead. Rutten rightly acknowledges the sacrifices these working people have already made, pointing out that mandatory furloughs will reduce their take-home pay by "at least 5%" this year. He calls on police and fire unions to "step up and take an equitable share in the sacrifice," continuing, "That's doubly true given the mayor's firm commitment to maintaining both the police and fire staffs at their current levels."
December 20, 2009 | Doyle McManus
Last June, a long time ago in politics, Democrats in the Senate were briefly jubilant. For the first time in a generation, they held 60 seats, the "supermajority" required to control the Senate's proceedings. The road to enacting President Obama's center-left agenda looked, for a moment, almost smooth. But that's not how the Senate works. It's an assembly of 100 independent egos, not a parliament of two disciplined parties. The word "control" doesn't apply. Last week, as Majority Leader Harry Reid struggled to corral 60 votes to move a healthcare bill forward, the jubilation of summer gave way to desperation on cold winter nights -- with occasional flashes of recrimination.
January 16, 2010 | By Susan King
"Avatar" won a record-breaking six Critics' Choice Movie Awards on Friday night, but it was the independent Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker" took home the best picture honors from the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. Kathryn Bigelow also won as director of the harrowing ensemble war film. "The Hurt Locker," which is nominated for best picture and director at Sunday's Golden Globes, has received the lion's share of critics' awards, including honors from the L.A. Film Critics Assn.
January 26, 2010 | By Andrea Chang
Shoppers spent more than they planned during the Christmas season, giving retailers a much-needed sales spurt that industry watchers are hoping will continue this year. Consumers spent an average of $811 on holiday gifts, significantly more than the $699 they initially planned to spend, according to a Consumer Reports survey expected to be released today. About 4 in 5 consumers bought gifts, and in a good sign for discretionary spending, many shoppers bought for themselves, the poll found.
February 11, 2010 | By Alejandro Lazo
A total of 315,716 U.S. homes were mired in the foreclosure process in January, a 10% decline from foreclosure activity measured in December, a real estate firm will report Thursday. That number is still 15% above the level of foreclosure activity reported by RealtyTrac in January 2009. The report by the company, which sells foreclosure information to consumers online, shows that 1 in 409 U.S. homes last month was listed in a foreclosure filing -- default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions.
October 8, 2009
Today's topic: When should we start caring about federal deficits? When should we start doing something about them? Dean Baker and Maya MacGuineas continue their debate on the relationship between unemployment rates and economic recovery, and how much Washington can do about both. Point: Maya MacGuineas, New American Foundation Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget The federal budget deficit was bad before the recession; now it is downright alarming. In the fiscal year that just ended, the deficit was about $1.4 trillion -- almost a trillion more than the prior year.
February 25, 2010
'Idol' reclaims its crown All is normal in the world again as Fox's "American Idol" beat NBC's Olympics coverage Tuesday night in the ratings race. After losing to the Olympics last Wednesday, the first time in six years that "American Idol" hadn't won its time slot, the talent show made a strong comeback. From 8 to 10 p.m., Fox averaged almost 24 million viewers, compared with 20.8 million for NBC. " 'American Idol' deserves applause. It's an absolute juggernaut that went undefeated for six years and is now 223-1; we are just happy to be the 1," said NBC Sports Senior Vice President Mike McCarley.
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