The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

March 26, 2015
by terrance
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Black Unemployment Report Shows Need For The People’s Budget

Black Unemployment Report Shows Need For The People’s Budget

Yesterday House Republicans passed a budget with no new funding for job creation. Today a new report on black unemployment shows the urgent need for investment in job creation.

In a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, “Projected Decline in Unemployment in 2015 Won’t Lift Blacks Out of the Recession-carved Crater,” economist Valerie Wilson finds that black unemployment rates remain higher than pre-recession levels in 28 states — even though unemployed rates for whites, Latinos, and Asians have dropped to within 1 percentage point of their pre-recession levels. Black unemployment levels are projected to drop significantly in only two states — California and Illinois. Nationally, a black unemployment rate of 10.4 percent is projected for the end of 2015. That’s slightly lower than the 11.0 percent rate at the end of 2014, and still more than two percentage points above the 8.6 percent rate before the Great Recession.

These numbers are just the latest to demonstrate the need for the federal government to actively invest in job creation. Last night, House Republicans passed a budget proposal that — as I noted earlier — contains no new funding for job creation.

The People’s Budget, proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, incorporates the kind of investment needed to change unemployment numbers like those in the EPI report. Subtitled “A Raise For America,” the People’s Budget details a plan to create 8.4 million good paying jobs by 2018, including $820 billion to repair America’s crumbling infrastructure — roads, bridges, and energy systems. In the Senate, Bernie Sanders (I, Vermont) proposed a similar amendment to create over 9 million jobs by investing in infrastructure, paid for by closing “huge” corporate tax loopholes.

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March 25, 2015
by terrance
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Five Ways The GOP Budget Will Harm American Families

Republicans in Congress today will vote on budget proposals that are essentially meaningless, except that they lay out how the GOP would like to structure federal policy and priorities.

The White House has its own fact sheet about the House Republican budget. The National Priorities Project has created a detailed comparison of all the budget proposals up for consideration: President Obama’s budget, the House GOP budget, the Senate GOP budget, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget. And here at CAF, we put together a graphic for sharing on social networks that compares the GOP budget with the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget. Continue Reading →

March 23, 2015
by terrance
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Ted Cruz Is Running For President. Here Are The Crazy Things He Believes

Ted Cruz Is Running For President. Here Are The Crazy Things He Believes

Ted Cruz - CaricatureIn a speech at Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia — a right-wing school established by Jerry Falwell — Sen. Ted Cruz (R, Texas) announced his candidacy for the presidency in 2016. The announcement makes Cruz the first Republican, and the first major candidate to throw his had into the ring for 2016.
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March 18, 2015
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Digest for March 16th through March 18th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for March 16th through March 18th:

March 17, 2015
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Immoral Choices in the House GOP Budget

Immoral Choices in the House GOP Budget

Budgets, as Rev. Jim Wallis says, are moral documents. They contain choices that reflect our priorities and define our values. The Republican-led House Budget Committee’s FY2016 budget proposal, “A Balance Budget For A Stronger America,” is a document full of immoral choices that will have devastating impacts on the most vulnerable Americans.

The proposal is short on specifics and covers little new ground. House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price (R, Georgia) previewed the proposal’s focus on balancing the budget, and $5.5 trillion in spending cuts, in a speech at a Heritage Foundation event in January. Most of the rest borrows heavily from Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R. Wisconsin) budgets.

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March 16, 2015
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Digest for March 12th through March 16th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for March 12th through March 16th:

March 12, 2015
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Digest for March 11th through March 12th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for March 11th through March 12th:

March 11, 2015
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Digest for March 9th through March 11th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for March 9th through March 11th:

March 9, 2015
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Digest for March 9th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for March 9th from 12:52 to 12:59:

March 6, 2015
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Digest for March 4th through March 6th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for March 4th through March 6th:

  • Army Must Call Chelsea Manning A Woman: Court – Chelsea Manning, a transgender woman convicted of leaking national security secrets, must be referred to using feminine pronouns, a court ruled.
  • Mike Bowers Recants – A lot of bad old memories were revived and perhaps mitigated by a New York Times profile by Richard Fausset of former Georgia Attorney General Michael Bowers, who has emerged as a most unlikely ally of his state's LGBT community in opposing a "religious liberty" law pending in the legislature, which is being supported by most of Bowers' fellow Republicans.
  • The Gangsters of Ferguson – Yesterday the Justice Department released the results of a long and thorough investigation into the killing of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. The investigation…
  • The Problem Is Way Bigger Than Ferguson, Justice Department Report Reveals – It was billed as an investigation of the Ferguson Police Department. But a hard-hitting report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Justice also reads as an indictment of cities and towns…
  • An Open Letter to My Students: I Am Sorry for What I Am About to Do to You – To all of my precious students,I am sorry for what I am about to do to you. This week, I am going to have to give you a new test. It's called PARCC … and my guess is that most of you will hate them. My guess is that one or two of you will be brought to tears because they will make you feel like you are not smart enough. My guess is that several of you will give up part way through the test and just start clicking around on the screen.
  • [Video] Debunking the Myth That Black Men Are Immune to Harm – "The narrative that young men of color's pain is insignificant–both that it's somehow smaller than the pain that other people experience and that it's somehow less important–is as old as our country," Vera Institute of Justice researcher Danielle Sered told an overflow crowd last week at the Ford Foundation in New York City.
  • Senate Republicans can’t promise a healthcare fix before the Supreme Court rules – As the Supreme Court hears King v. Burwell, a challenge that could strip the part of the Affordable Care Act that actually makes it affordable for millions of citizens, Senate Republican leadership says they might not have a fix by the time the court rules in June.
  • ‘It’s the Blackness That Scares Everybody': Why White People Favor ‘African-Americans’ – White people have a far more negative view of the term 'Black' than they do of the term 'African-American.'

March 6, 2015
by terrance
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50 Years Later: The Long March From Selma To Ferguson

50 Years Later: The Long March From Selma To Ferguson

Fifty years after Selma, the Department of Justice Report on Ferguson reveals the same racism the Selma marchers stood against, and the same economic consequences.

On Wednesday, nearly fifty years after the “Bloody Sunday” march from Selma to Montgomery, the Department of Justice released a damning report of its investigation of the police department and municipal court system in Ferguson, Missouri. The Department of Justice (DOJ) report on Ferguson uncovers both the same racism the Selma marchers stood against, and the same economic consequences.

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March 4, 2015
by terrance
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President’s Task Force Takes Baby Steps To Post-Ferguson Policing Reform

In August, 100 social justice leaders, Members of Congress, faith leaders, artists, and activists signed an open letter to President Obama, laying out seven action areas in the wake of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. This week, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing released its interim report, with 59 recommendations that only partially address those seven action items. Continue Reading →

March 3, 2015
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Digest for February 25th through March 3rd

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for February 25th through March 3rd:

February 27, 2015
by terrance
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Wingnut Week In Review: Papa Bear Roars

Wingnut Week In Review: Papa Bear Roars

Bombastic Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, affectionately dubbed “Papa Bear” by Steven Colbert, formerly of “The Colbert Report,” is in so much trouble that he’s even defending President Obama. It’s that bad.

Papa Bear Roars

Anyone with a YouTube account knows by now that Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly has a bit of a temper.

When NBC news anchor Brian Williams falsely claimed that his helicopter was nearly shot down, as he covered the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, O’Reilly unleashed a fusillade of righteous anger against a national media that he said, “isn’t half as responsible as the men who forged the nation.” Lamenting the “culture of deception” in the “liberal media,” O’Reilly said the Williams affair should prompt questioning of other media “deceptions.”

It did, but not in the way O’Reilly probably imagined. Late last week, Mother Jones’ David Corn and Daniel Schulman reported that “for years, O’Reilly has recounted dramatic stories about his own war reporting that don’t withstand scrutiny.” Here are a few:

Meanwhile, O’Reilly claimed that criticism of his record is based on “professional jealousy,” because “We are putting tremendous pressure on the Obama administration to fight the terror savages.”

The Fox Network, which has stood by O’Reilly thus far, fell strangely quiet after the JFK revelation. O’Reilly has taken to threatening reporters. In response to the Mother Jones article, O’Reilly said, “I expect David Corn to be in the kill zone. Where he deserves to be.”

O’Reilly also threatened a New York Times reporter, because he didn’t like a Times article detailing Fox’s defense of O’Reilly, while he lied to the public for years. “I am coming after you with everything I have,” O’Reilly said. “You can take it as a threat."

O’Reilly’s been in the media long enough that surely he knows this is not the way to kill a story. (The most effective method would have been to ignore it.) Maybe he just can’t help himself. He has a long history of attacking reporters.

How much trouble is O’Reilly in? Things have gotten so desperate that O’Reilly is now defending President Obama. Days after lashing out at the liberal media for smearing him, in the guise of advising would-be GOP presidential candidates, O’Reilly told his audience that the president’s policies may be “controversial,” but there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed.

CPAC 2015

It’s that time of year again. The Conservative Political Action Conference is in town. Things went awry before the conference even started, when CPAC organizers decided to open the virtual floor to questions from Twitter, via the #CPACQ hash tag.

It didn’t take liberals long to start having some fun with it.

And if that’s not bad enough, CPAC’s official mobile app can’t tell the difference between presidential hopeful Ben Carson and North Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

At first, styling CPAC 2015 after “The Avengers” seemed like an odd choice.

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But the speeches so far show that the right-wingers at CPAC thing we are all in danger, and they’re going to save us, by leading us in to a with ISIS.

Looney Tunes Legislators

In what may become a regular part of “Wingnut Week In Review,” here are the week’s nuttiest laws and lawmakers:

Here’s the best of the worst in wingnuttia this week:

February 25, 2015
by terrance
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Digest for February 23rd through February 25th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for February 23rd through February 25th:

  • Is The Junk-Food Era Drawing To A Close? – Not long ago, the great processed-food companies like Kraft and Kellogg's towered over the US food landscape like the high hat that adorned the head of Chef Boyardee, the iconic canned-spaghetti magnate whose empire is now owned by ConAgra.

    But now, Big Food has fallen on hard times

  • The Art of Masculinity – Placing black and Latino men at the center of race discussions in America is, of course, nothing new. But in recent years, as we discuss what seems to be a growing number of black and brown victims of police and vigilante violence, the conversation about race and masculinity has taken on a more urgent tone.
  • Michigan Judge Allows Atheist’s ‘Reason Station’ Inside City Hall – If a church can have a prayer station inside city hall, then an atheist can have a reason station there, too.
  • Op-Ed Columnist: Who Loves America? – Our allegiance needn’t — mustn’t — be blind to be true. We must acknowledge our warts if we are to proclaim our beauty.
  • Op-Ed Columnist: Knowledge Isn’t Power – Why education isn’t the answer to inequality.