The Republic of T.

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

Digest for July 18th through July 25th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for July 18th through July 25th:

  • Paul Ryan’s Faux Populism Isn’t Going to End Poverty or Reduce Inequality – Paul Ryan’s fellow Republicans are quick to dismiss Elizabeth Warren as too radical, too progressive, too populist.

    But Ryan is trying—a bit clumsily, but trying all the same—to borrow a page from the Massachusetts senator as he seeks to remake himself in anticipation of a potential 2016 run for the Republican presidential nomination. He’s talking about poverty, about inequality, about shifting the focus away from meeting the demands of corporations and toward meeting the needs of Americans.

  • The Politics of Parenting: How Our Society Criminalizes Poor Mothers of Color – When 46-year-old Debra Harrell was arrested July 1 for leaving her daughter unattended at a public park, she joined the ever-increasing ranks of poor mothers of color who are criminalized.
  • U.S. Weighs Refugee Status For Honduran Youth Displaced By Armed Conflict – The Obama administration is weighing giving refugee status to young people from Honduras as part of a plan to slow the influx of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, White House officials said Thursday.
  • Ryan “Opportunity Grant” Proposal Would Likely Increase Poverty and Shrink Resources for Poverty Programs Over Time – A centerpiece of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new poverty plan would consolidate 11 safety-net and related programs — from food stamps to housing vouchers, child care, and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) — into a single block grant to states. This new “Opportunity Grant” would operate initially in an unspecified number of states. While some other elements of the Ryan poverty plan deserve serious consideration, such as those relating to the Earned Income Tax Credit and criminal justice reform, his “Opportunity Grant” would likely increase poverty and hardship, and is therefore ill-advised, for several reasons:
  • The Crisis in Black Homeownership – In 2005, three years before the Great Recession, the median black household had a net worth of $12,124. Yes, this was far behind the median white household—which had a net worth of $134,992—but it was a huge improvement from previous decades, in which housing discrimination made wealth accumulation difficult (if not impossible) for the large majority of African-American families.
  • The Christian right’s obscene, defining hypocrisy – Evangelicals urge children to "convert or go to hell" and still accuse *liberals* of indoctrinating America's youth
  • How Did the GOP Turn Into Such a Bunch of Clowns? – For a lot of reasons, the current era will probably be seen as unusually consequential in the history of the two parties, particularly the GOP. For Republicans, it has been a time of ideological hardening and bitter infighting. But one aspect of the Republican dilemma hasn't gotten as much attention as those: This is a time of unusual, even stunning, Republican political incompetence.
  • Editorial: Pope Francis and the Bishops Who Hid Pedophile Priests – Pope Francis needs to hold accountable the bishops who covered up sexual abuse by priests, and a good place to start is the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese.
  • 9 sinister things the Christian right does in the name of God – Hobby Lobby isn't alone. Evangelicals routinely manipulate the Bible's teachings to serve their political agenda
  • Must-see morning clip: Colbert slams Fox News for pretending to care about child refugees – "It's a tough love…or a very soft hate"

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