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We want to be really excited going into our long weekend that celebrates our nation's independence. We have a new Mayor in Antonio Villaraigosa who, immediately and willingly, becomes a national political figure and may, if his rhetoric at the progressive conference is to be believed, help push American government to look forward instead of backwards in its urban planning, renewal and management and keep LA in the national conversation.

We want to be excited but the skunks of los feliz said it best:

Our smiling new Mayor, and the celebratory, hopeful mood of the city, represent the best of our democracy. I think, though, we're all about to get a very good look at the worst.

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And unless you've avoided the news all day, you know why. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her resignation today. Boi From Troy looks at this transition from how it helps the President's political strategy for the next 6 months. Meanwhile, Christine at Ms. Musings (and the entire Ms. Magazine team) have been on urgent alert disseminating information about what could happen if the Court goes more conservative.Slate, just last week, looked at who the likely candidates would be for an open seat while Salon's war room examines the cases that would likely have been ruled differently if a more reliably conservative justice had served in her tenure instead.