December 20, 2013
Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for December 17th through December 20th:
- Driving While Black – “Stop and frisk” isn’t just a reality in New York City. New data shows how police target African Americans on highways across America.
- 5 ways the Christian right is twisting religion to push conservative dogma – Salon.com – Here are the various ways Christian right leaders glaze over the Jesus of the Bible and push their followers to worship one who looks a little more like a Nazarene Ayn Rand.
- Phil Robertson’s America – I am sure Robertson did see plenty of black people who were singing and happy. And I am also sure that very few black people approached Robertson to complain about "doggone white people." I have some idea why:
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ disaster: Happy cotton pickers? – A white man from rural Louisiana is deeply religious, believes being homosexual is a sin and thinks black people were much happier pre-Civil Rights era.
- The Grinches Who Stole Jobless Benefits – While the week before Christmas is a time when most Americans begin to pay less attention to the outside world in order to focus on friends and family, 1.3 million people will find that nearly impossible. That' s the number of the longterm unemployed–individuals who've been jobless for more than 6 and a half months—whose unemployment benefits will expire just days after Christmas. The longterm unemployed are disproportionately people of color.
- Poll: The GOP’s Nazi fixation – North Carolina state Senator Bob Rucho called the ACA worse than the Nazis, what's with the GOP's Nazi fixation?
December 17, 2013
Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for December 17th from 16:02 to 16:13:
- Opposition to Obamacare Declines – Public opposition to the new health care law has eased in the past month.
- What Obama Can Learn From Warren – For the first time in his presidency, Obama seems truly committed to tackling inequality. Here’s how he should do it.
- The Republican War on Women: The Newly Invisible and Undeserving Poor – Republicans are pushing to decimate food-stamp programs. (Illustration by Victor Juhasz/Rolling Ston))While the rest of the world debates America’s role in the Middle East or its use of drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the U.S.
- Unemployment Benefits Are Ending for 1.3 Million Americans. What’s That All About? – On December 28, 1.3 million people will lose their unemployment insurance. That's because Congress failed to add an extension of those benefits into the budget deal that will likely pass the Senate this week. Here is some background:
- “A Mistake Has Been Made Here, and No One Wants to Correct It” – In the early afternoon of April 6, 1979, a 78-year-old white man named Jack Sasson was robbed and shot five times at close range as he sat behind the wheel of his blue Chevrolet in the carport outside his home in West Los Angeles. His wife, Renee, testified that when she found him, he was “all blood.” Three weeks later, Sasson died of his injuries.
- Twenty-three states aren’t expanding Medicaid. Here’s who they leave behind. – Twenty-three states are currently not planning to move forward with the Medicaid expansion, which was meant to cover millions of low-income Americans. The population they leave behind is mostly young, minority, single adults, according to two new data briefs from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- Corporate Education Reform Won’t Solve the Problems Caused by Poverty – Common Core is just one of several examples of corporate influence in education. The foundations and consortiums behind these policies, like the Gates Foundation, Pearson, and others, all stand to profit from adoption of their methods, resources, and technology. But that’s neoliberalism in a nutshell. What is truly surprising has been the full-fledged support of high-stakes testing by the US Department of Education (DoE) under a Democratic president, continuing the infamous legacy of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
- Year of the Whopper: Top Ten Lies, Hoaxes, and Pranks of 2013 – If North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un had whispered to his uncle, "Looking forward to seeing you over the holidays" it would have taken the cake on this year's Top Ten List… but this year there were even stronger real contenders:
- A New Deal for Christmas – It was a hard knock life at Christmas in 1933, and it’s a hard knock holiday 80 years later.
- A bridge over troubled political waters – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) still hasn’t offered an alternate – read: more believable – explanation for his administration’s controversial lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. The most plausible explanation – that the governor’s administration was punishing a major who refused to endorse Christie – is the most politically damaging one, but also the most credible pending further revelations.
December 16, 2013
Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for December 16th from 16:18 to 16:36:
- A new perspective on the “affluenza” case: Sergio Molina’s story – A judge in Texas sentenced 16-year-old Ethan Couch to ten years of probation for the crash that killed four people. His lawyers argued he is a victim of a so-called condition called 'affluenza,' a theory that Couch isn't really to blame for his actions because his rich parents never set limits for him and he never learned about consequences. Sergio Molina was riding in the back of Couch's truck that night. He survived the accident, but he is suffering unimaginable consequences and his life will never be the same. Gary Tuchman has his story.
- Cooper rips into ‘affluenza’ defender – CNN's Anderson Cooper has a spirited exchange with Dick Miller, the psychologist at the center of the "affluenza" case.
- Affluenza: The Latest Excuse for the Wealthy to Do Whatever They Want – Ethan Couch, a teenager in Texas, killed four people but got off because he comes from a rich family and 'didn't know better.'
- Why Megyn Kelly Was So Enraged at the Concept of a Black Santa (and Jesus) – And why she was so, so wrong.
- Op-Ed Columnist: Why Inequality Matters – The economic populists have it right.
- ‘Affluenza’ kills: White teen’s light sentence exposes dark side of criminal justice system – In January 1997, a 13-year-old black boy allegedly walked up to a man and shot him with rifle. Labeled a cold-blooded thug, Michael Lewis stood less than 5 feet tall when a judge handed down a life sentence in a Georgia courtroom.
Last week, convicted on multiple counts of manslaughter and assault, 16-year-old Ethan Couch walked out of a Texas courtroom and into the public spotlight. Unlike Michael, Ethan will not spend a day behind bars. Despite killing four innocent people and shattering the lives of countless others, he was given ten years probation and ordered into a private rehabilitation center at his parents’ expense.
- The one thing the federal government did on gun control since Newtown – More than a year after the most significant mass shooting this century, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Congress has failed to curtail the availability of guns in America. But one thing has happened on the federal level — or rather, not happened — that has at least delayed the spread of U.S.-made sporting firearms around the world.
- Problems With Obamacare Don’t Prove Private Sector Superiority – The mainstream media has been very focused recently on every problem with the Affordable Care Act. There are plenty of things not to like about the ACA but many in the media have taken this as an opportunity to push as common conservative platitude — anything the public sector can do, the private sector can do better. There is example after example after example where this meme has been proven wrong.
- Pa. pastor suspended for officiating same-sex marriage refuses to step down – A Pennsylvania pastor who was suspended for performing the same-sex marriage of his son refused to give up his credentials Monday and vowed to try to remain in the Methodist Church as an advocate for gay equality.
- Our basic human rights are being violated… – Sixty-five years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed. The Declaration was drafted by the United Nations, and chaired by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The goal of the Declaration was to strive for “inherent dignity” and “equal and inalienable rights [for] all members of the human family.” But, many people in our nation are being denied these basic human rights.
December 13, 2013
So, this is Christmas. And Fox News host “Megyn” Kelly is determined to have a “White Christmas.” Kelly set the internet ablaze when she insisted that the two biggest names of the season — Santa Claus and Jesus — are absolutely white.
My fellow blogger, Bill Sher, has already shown that Santa can indeed sometimes be black, with no ill effects on children. So, Ms. Kelly’s reassurance to any children that Santa is “really” white wasunnecessary. That is, unless she just intended to reassure children that “white Santa” wasn’t on any “no fly lists,” wasn’t going to be deported, and would make it past the neighborhood watch.
Now, allow me to shatter Ms. Kelly’s remaining alabaster Christmas tree ornament.
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December 12, 2013
While conservatives obsessed over “selfies,” handshakes, and pseudo-symbolic statements, President Obama honored legacy of Nelson Mandela, and underscored how relevant and urgently needed it is today.
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December 9, 2013
Conservatives have turned Nelson Mandela’s death in to another reminder of how firmly Republicans stood, and still stand, on the wrong side of history. Here are some of the worst conservative reactions to Mandela’s death. Continue Reading →
December 7, 2013
Besides black people, nobody wants racism to be “over” more than white conservatives, if the RNC’s tweet honoring Rosa Parks for “ending” racism is any indication. Why are white conservatives so ready declare racism “over”? They just want to get off the hook.
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December 6, 2013
If there’s a “war on Christmas” going on, it’s being waged by congressional Republicans who are willing to let emergency unemployment benefits expire; just like they let emergency food stamp spending expire.
Last month, just in time for Thanksgiving, congressional Republicans let 47 million Americans go over the “hunger cliff,” when $5 billion in automatic cuts to food stamps took effect. Now, Republicans are about to let 1.3 million jobless Americans plunge over the “unemployment cliff” when emergency unemployment benefits expire in 24 days. Another 3.5 million jobless Americans will take the plunge by the end of 2014
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December 4, 2013
Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for December 4th from 16:05 to 16:15:
December 3, 2013
Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for November 26th through December 3rd:
- The Accidental Truth in the RNC’s Latest Race Gaffe – A tweet about Rosa Parks ‘ending racism’ reveals a shameful truth about the GOP: Equality has never been the party’s fight and likely never will be.
- $2,229.11 for Three Stitches? Behold the Wonder of the Free Market. – And let's be clear about this: what conservatives are arguing for is the maintenance of the status quo that gives us the $2,229.11 hospital charge for putting in three stitches. It was their devotion to the primacy of market freedom in health care that put us where we are now. When the government doesn't work properly, by, say, making a terrible website that took months to fix, the answer is to make it work better. Because we don't have to wonder whether the alternative is worse. We've been living it.
- Black females should have the right to wear an afro | Deborah Douglas – Vanessa VanDyke was threatened with expulsion from school for her hairstyle. It's another sad example of white beauty norms.
- The Banksters are getting off easy… – The banksters could be forced to pay tens of billions of dollars more in settlements for crashing our economy. But, these fees are just a small fraction of the price that American taxpayers paid for the economic collapse.
- The Elan Gale internet hoax sums up all that is rotten about our online lives – When I was a teenager, I thought it would be great to be an adult and be surrounded by people who weren't mean to each other all day. Enter stage left: the world wide web.
- Intelligence-led policing aka ”Pre-crime” – Say what you will about Goldman Sachs — and you could say a lot — but its CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, recently boiled down one of America’s most complex problems into a perfectly simple and quotable line. Repeat after Lloyd, folks: "This country does a great job of creating wealth, but not a great [job] of distributing it.”
- It’s High Time to Drug Test Our Lawmakers – Tenacity can be an admirable trait in a leader – except when it's stupid.
- Bayard Rustin and the Audacity of Hope – President Obama's posthumous award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Bayard Rustin on November 20, 2013, marked overdue recognition of Rustin's extraordinary contributions to the civil rights movement. On another level, Rustin's strategic vision has prophetic relevance for our time. It embodies the "audacity of hope" that we can build a deeper and more vibrant democracy.
November 27, 2013
A new poll shows that, despite a flawed rollout, most Americans are willing to give health care reform time to succeed. That’s good news for Obamacare, because it’s already succeeding in states that have fully adopted it. And the success stories are starting to spread.
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November 26, 2013
Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for November 25th through November 26th:
- The gender wage gap: Made worse by the gender housework and childcare gap – This isn't surprising news, or even particularly new news, but it bears repeating since large swaths of the American public seem to be unconvinced that the gender wage gap is shaped by cultural influences beyond women's apparent innate desire to work less and in different fields than men.
- No One Is Talking About These Obamacare Stories – Last summer Ellen Holzman and Meredith Vezina, a married gay couple in San Diego County, got kicked off their long-term Kaiser health plan, for which they'd been paying more than $1,300 a month.
- Effective Corporate Tax Rates – Tax reform is needed to end the practice of many American corporations of stashing cash abroad, an economist writes.
- How the corporate Grinch stole Thanksgiving! – To the chagrin of some employees — and political, labor and religious allies – major retailers will kick off Black Friday even earlier this week on Thursday, compelling workers to face down throngs of shoppers rather than sharing the holiday with their families.
- Talking Turkey: How to Talk Jobs and Economy with Your Conservative Uncle at the Thanksgiving Table – You know you aren't supposed to do it. But you know you're going to. Talk about politics over the holidays. It's hard to avoid it and you know your uncle who worships Rush Limbaugh and runs Fox News 24/7 is going to be armed with conservative talking points. Here's your handy guide to quick responses and facts use when you hear those talking points about issues important to working families.
- A list of the weapons retrieved from George Zimmerman’s home – A Florida judge last week ordered George Zimmerman to surrender his weapons while under investigation for domestic violence. Local law enforcement searched Zimmerman's home, and on Monday filed court documents on the search.
- Nearly 9 of 10 Low-Wage Workers Fear They Can’t Make Ends Meet – Judging by the records being set on Wall Street and steady reports by corporations of high profits and hoarded cash, you’d think the economy was doing well. Yet a new poll reports that six of every 10 American workers fear getting fired or laid off, the highest measured level of job anxiety since the 1970s. Welcome to the new America.
- Leonard Pitts Jr.: Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman — who’s the real thug? – With George Zimmerman out on bail last week after his latest run-in with police, it seems an opportune time to discuss the second killing of Trayvon Martin.
November 25, 2013
November 22, 2013
November 20, 2013
If Congress is serious about “fiscal responsibility,” they should cut corporate America’s “free lunch,” instead of voting for even more painful cuts to food stamps. It would bring in more revenue than any pseudo-savings from cutting food stamps.
Millions of Americans were pushed over the “hunger cliff” by $5 billion in automatic cuts to food stamps, when the increased funding approved by Congress in 2009 expired on November 1st. The increase was Congress’ response to rising numbers of Americans relying on food stamps as a result of the recession — from 26 million in 2007 to 47 million in 2012.
The increased meant to expire once the need subsided. The need hasn’t subsided. Thanks to an economic recovery in which 95 percent of the benefits have gone to the wealthiest one percent, the number of Americans who rely on food stamps has held at about 47 million.
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November 19, 2013
Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for November 19th from 12:06 to 16:45:
November 18, 2013
Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for November 12th through November 18th:
- The Gay Awakening – Any other day, Reverend Frank Schaeffer might look out onto the 179 acres of woods at Camp Innabah—a Christian retreat center 40 miles outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—and stop to ponder God's design in the natural beauty. But today, his mind is on another matter: his trial. The 51-year-old pastor's crime? Officiating his son's same-sex wedding in 2007.
- Epic drug war rant: Watch Ethan Nadelmann destroy the ‘failed prohibitionist policy’ – The drug policy reform movement isn’t simply made up of people hoping to get high legally, according to Ethan Nadelmann. The executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance says the movement includes people who hate drugs and even people who “don’t give a damn” about drugs.
- The Real Reasons Insurers Are Canceling Policies – There are other reasons some folks are being told they'll have to change health plans next year. Many of them are having to switch plans not because of Obamacare but because their insurance companies want to move them into policies with higher profit margins.
- Louisiana residents choose libraries over jail to receive funds – Residents of Lafourche Parish in Louisiana recently voted down a proposal that would have used money currently going to local libraries to build a new prison.
- Walmart asks its workers to donate Thanksgiving food … to Walmart workers – So this Walmart's management is asking its low-paid workers to give to its even lower-paid workers. Those who are lucky enough to get close to full-time hours and have been around long enough to earn a princely $11 or $12 an hour can give canned goods to those working part time and earning more like $8, I guess. That's people who are kinda sorta getting by giving to those who are living in poverty—in an effort run by their mutual employer, who refuses to pay them the kind of wages that would make food donations unnecessary for all of them.
- The Libertarian Bizarro World – Today's post about how libertarians are big fans of initiating force reminds me of a subject near to my heart: libertarian theories of initial property appropriation. The part of a given libertarian theory that deals with initial property appropriation is always the hands-down most exciting part. This is so because it is at that point in the theory, especially for those inclined to talk about aggression and force, that we enter into bizarro world.
- Washington Post writer: ‘Conventional people’ repress ‘gag reflex’ over biracial de Blasios – Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen is under fire for his latest piece, in which he claims “people with conventional views” are repressing a “gag reflex” when they see New York City’s mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, his African-American wife and biracial children.
November 14, 2013
The truth, especially the truth of other people’s lives, can be hard and ugly.
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November 12, 2013
Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for November 4th through November 12th: