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Optimism

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OPINION
July 6, 2011 | Tim Rutten
It's sometimes useful to see ourselves as others do, and reports this Independence Day weekend in a couple of English-speaking newspapers usually sympathetic to the United States are sobering. Britain's Daily Telegraph — a conservative paper and that country's bestselling broadsheet — diagnoses us as a nation depressed, and cites polling data describing alarming percentages of Americans who expect their own economic situation to deteriorate further and that of their children to be worse still.
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BUSINESS
April 8, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Small-business owners were more optimistic about the economy last month and expected sales to increase as a winter marked by severe weather ended, according to survey results released Tuesday. The confidence index from the National Federation of Independent Business rose to 93.4 in March, from 91.4 the previous month. The measure is one of the few monthly barometers of the small-business sector, which is a key driver of the economy. Last month's increase nearly reversed a drop in February, but the index, which can range from 80 to 110, remains historically low as the economic recovery struggles to gain traction.
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NEWS
January 5, 2000
Perhaps the most widely used method for assessing optimistic or pessimistic disposition is the Life Orientation Test, developed by psychologists Michael Scheier and Charles Carver. To gauge your optimism level with this test, indicate your response to each item below: A--strongly agree; B--agree; C--feel neutral; D--disagree; E--strongly disagree. Don't let your answer to one question influence another. 1. In uncertain times, I usually expect the best. 2. It's easy for me to relax. 3.
SPORTS
April 4, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
Four minutes before Hyun-Jin Ryu threw the first pitch of the Dodgers' home opener Friday, Time Warner Cable hit the send button. Vin Scully had just handed the ceremonial first pitch to Sandy Koufax, two of the most beloved sports figures in Los Angeles history teaming up to welcome baseball back to Dodger Stadium. It was a goosebump moment in person and on television, except that most of Southern California cannot see the Dodgers on television. In an email blast to DirecTV subscribers demanding their Dodgers, TWC put the blame on DirecTV.
NEWS
June 2, 2012 | By David Lauter
The biggest problem for President Obamain today's jobs numbers may not be simply what it says about the current state of the economy, but how it affects voters' view of where the economy is headed. A sense of optimism about the economy's future is crucial for Obama's reelection chances. Just how important can be seen in numerous polls. Let's look at one from the potential swing state of Wisconsin. The Marquette University poll , which was released earlier this week, showed Obama with an eight-point lead in the state over Republican Mitt Romney, even as it showed Republican governor Scott Walker with a seven-point lead going into next Tuesday's recall election.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 1987 | DENNIS McDOUGAL
Listeners will still get their daily dose of headlines, weather and sports Thursday, but from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., KFWB-AM (980) will also fill the air with "California Dreamin' " instead of commercials.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 1992 | SAM ENRIQUEZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
There was a tiny U.S. flag planted in the corner of the trimmed lawn, a signpost for the bit of Americana played out on a mid-morning here in the newly minted town of North Hills. And a little after 10 a.m., standing in the driveway of the tract home he shares with his parents and grandmother, 29-year-old Howard Cohen, kicked off his campaign to win the 38th State Assembly District. "I am going to win," Cohen said confidently at the news conference Thursday.
WORLD
June 30, 2013 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - In December 2003, badly trailing Howard Dean in polls of the Democratic presidential field, Sen. John F. Kerry mortgaged his house to raise $6.4 million for his struggling campaign. The risky bet paid off the next month when he won the Iowa caucuses. In 2010, he led a fight for legislation to counter climate change that involved 300 meetings or phone calls before the bill died. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he had never seen anyone work harder on a piece of legislation.
SPORTS
March 10, 2012 | By Mike DiGiovanna
Reporting from Tempe, Ariz. -- It has been almost two years since Kendrys Morales played a competitive baseball game, but he expects to play one within a week to 10 days, a potentially momentous development for the Angels slugger and team. The anticipation is hardly killing Morales, though. "I think now that we're close, it's easier for me," Morales said through a translator before Saturday's 9-5 exhibition win over the San Francisco Giants in Tempe Diablo Stadium. "Last year, we thought we were close, but we were actually far. Now, I have no reason to worry.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 13, 1985 | JAY SHARBUTT
Singer-composer Tom Chapin was recently asked what he thought about the Live Aid spectacular being broadcast around the world today. "Guarded optimism," he said. Chapin is no stranger to famine-fighting concerts. He's a director of the still-active World Hunger Year group founded 10 years ago by his late brother, pop star Harry Chapin, a pioneer in efforts by entertainers to help the world's hungry.
WORLD
April 3, 2014 | By Shashank Bengali
KABUL, Afghanistan - The last time Abdullah Abdullah ran for president of Afghanistan the election devolved into a bloody farce. Votes cast in some areas in 2009 exceeded the number of voters. One in 5 ballots nationwide was tossed out because of fraud. Thirty-one people died in insurgent attacks. Days before a runoff against President Hamid Karzai, Abdullah withdrew from the race, fearing more fraud in the incumbent's favor. Five years later, the Karzai era is ending, as is the dominant role of the United States in Afghan life.
OPINION
March 30, 2014 | By Robert M. Sapolsky
The defining feature of human brains is the size and complexity of the cortex, which provides the underpinnings of rationality for our actions. But just because we have more developed cortexes doesn't mean we are always rational decision-makers. We humans constantly find ourselves loving the wrong person, buying things we don't have the money for and believing that fad diets consisting of nothing but sundaes will work. To be human is to hope against hope. When it comes to decision-making and risk assessment, we tend to think in an asymmetrical manner that feeds an optimistic outlook and denies discouragement.
OPINION
March 16, 2014 | Doyle McManus
This year was always going to be a difficult one for Democrats, as they battle to keep their five-seat majority in the Senate. But in recent months, the political landscape has grown bleaker. Let's start with the basics: Democrats have more seats at risk this year than Republicans do. Of the 36 Senate seats up for election (including three midterm vacancies), 21 are held by Democrats. And seven of those Democratic seats are in Republican-leaning "red states" that Mitt Romney won in 2012: Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.
OPINION
February 8, 2014 | Doyle McManus
Bill Gates wants you to feel much better about the future of mankind. Things are looking up, he says, way up. "By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been," Gates wrote in his annual letter chronicling the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through which he plans to give away most of the fortune he made from Microsoft. "People are living longer, healthier lives. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient," he wrote. "By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 18, 2014 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
The Museum of Contemporary Art continues to take steps toward pulling itself out of a deep, nearly six-year slump that almost sank the once widely acclaimed institution. With $100 million in endowment pledges and an ambitious plan to up that ante by 50%, MOCA announced the hiring of a new director this week. One can greet the appointment of Philippe Vergne, 47, with cautious optimism. L.A. wants its MOCA back. Vergne's job is to deliver it. Vergne faces the desperate need - and the golden opportunity - to rebuild a critically important institution battered by long-standing administrative mismanagement.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 2014 | By Sheri Linden
"The Rocket" winds through the mountains of northern Laos, the contemporary drama carrying a touch of fable and a powerful sense of place. Ahlo (Sitthiphon Disamoe), the 10-year-old at the center of the movie, makes an appealing rooting interest, not only because he's sparky and resourceful but also because he challenges the superstitious antipathy of his grandmother, who believes he's cursed. Displaced from their village by a dam project - after viewing a heartlessly chipper corporate video on the wonders of relocation - Ahlo and his family find themselves in a barren field of tents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 1989 | DONALD CHISHOLM and MARTIN LANDAU, Donald Chisholm is an assistant professor of political science at Ohio State University. Martin Landau is a professor of political science at UC Berkeley
That the catastrophe at Valdez would occur sooner or later, that the response of Exxon, of state and federal authorities to such a tragedy would be hopelessly inadequate, were virtually guaranteed. A captain who tested legally drunk, an unlicensed third mate at the helm and the absence of an effective procedure for coping with the spill were the immediate causes of the tragedy, yet explanations that go no further than specific circumstances miss the point. These were no more than consequences of decisions made earlier, no more than manifestations of an underlying problem that conditioned the accident, the very same that attended the destruction of Challenger.
BUSINESS
September 9, 2009 | Times Wire Services
The stock market is opening higher as merger news raised investors' optimism about an economic recovery. U.S. stocks are rising, following the lead of markets around the world. Investors are encouraged by news that two British mobile phone companies may combine. And while Cadbury PLC has rejected a takeover bid from Kraft Foods Inc., companies' reviving interest in making acquisitions is being seen as a positive sign for the economy. A weekend pledge by the world's 20 biggest economies to support the global recovery with stimulus efforts is contributing to the markets' positive tone.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 9, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - The top Democrat and Republican on the California Assembly budget committee both reacted with cautious optimism to Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal Thursday, while calling for greater investments in their parties' divergent priorities. "What's good is that there's a number of similarities or compatibilities between what the Assembly released and what he has in his budget," said Rep. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), who chairs the Assembly budget panel. Skinner noted that the plan does not include some of the Assembly's budget priorities, including universal transitional kindergarten or restoring cuts for Medi-Cal providers.
BUSINESS
December 6, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Big gains in factory and construction jobs last month have experts optimistic that the labor market is starting to produce enough higher-paying jobs to fuel stronger economic growth. "It's not just the quantity of the jobs but the quality," Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, said of Friday's Labor Department report of a surprisingly strong 203,000 net new jobs added in November. Of those hires, manufacturers accounted for 27,000, the most since March 2012 and a sharp increase from October's 16,000 new jobs.
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