No not asleep at the wheel…we are talking asleep at the keys, keyboard that is.
Or, as I read the NewsBlur RSS feeder on my iphone, which sucks because my finger is on the screen, so consequently whatever article I am touching will open up in the browser….then if my finger happens to be on another link within the feed’s article, that will open up in Safari…and the cycle continues until I snap out of my doze or my finger lands on a non-linking touchscreen area.
Here are your cartoons for this Friday night. The last Friday in August….hell, fucking, yeah!
This is an open thread….
The painting above and the rest of the works illustrating this post, are by Edward Hopper.
For the first time, I’m really angry with Senator Elizabeth Warren. I generally get an email from her at least every couple of days, but since her “meeting” with Joe Biden, there’s been nothing. She owes it to Massachusetts voters and to all of her supporters to explain what is going on. This morning I sent her an email and a tweet asking her to clarify where she stands on Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and telling her she should be ashamed for allowing the media speculation to continue. I also said that if she undercuts the first woman ever to have a serious chance to be president, I will never vote for her again for any office.
Right now the media is running wild with rumors that Warren would agree to run as Joe Biden’s vice president, and/or that she would endorse Biden if he ran for president. How she could even consider supporting Mr. MBNA–who wrote the legislation on which the Patriot Act was based, sponsored a bill that would have made declaring bankruptcy much more difficult (a bill that was defeated by Ted Kennedy and Elizabeth Warren), and wrote the mass incarceration bill that Hillary Clinton is being excoriated for–I cannot begin to understand.
Here’s the latest on this story.
Major Democratic fundraisers have been invited to meet with Vice President Joe Biden at his residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory after Labor Day, part of a series of conversations he is having with senior party players as he contemplates jumping into the 2016 race.
Among the guests invited to the gathering are top bundlers who raised large sums for the Obama-Biden campaigns in 2008 and 2012, according to people familiar with the outreach. The sitdown is scheduled to take place during the week following Labor Day….
In recent weeks, Biden has been huddling with longtime supporters and allies to discuss the possibility of making another White House run. On Saturday, he met with Elizabeth Warren, the populist senator from Massachusetts.
His consideration of another campaign comes as front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton has fielded mounting questions about her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
The news that the FBI is investigating whether the system put any classified information at risk has rattled some top party financiers, particularly donors who were major players in Obama’s fundraising network who have little personal history with the Clintons. In the last few weeks, e-mails and calls have been flying back and forth between top bundlers as they try to assess how serious Biden is and whether Clinton is on shaky ground.
So much for Elizabeth Warren taking a pass on 2016.
The scourge of Wall Street might have disappointed her legions of “Run Warren Run” supporters by ruling out her own bid for the White House earlier this year.
But the Massachusetts senator is in the thick of the Democratic race anyway. Warren offered a fresh glimpse of her political star power and talismanic value for Democrats when she held a furtive meeting with Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday — which briefly knocked even Donald Trump out of the headlines.
The encounter, first reported by CNN, intensified speculation that Biden, perhaps encouraged by front-runner Hillary Clinton’s ebbing poll numbers, is moving closer to a White House run and is keen to connect with Warren’s fervent supporters.
It also returned her name to the political mix, as Biden’s interest in powwowing with her as he mulls a presidential run demonstrates her clout, and those same flagging poll numbers raise the specter of whether Warren missed her moment — or might still plan to seize it and enter the 2016 race herself.
Can you see why I’m hopping mad this morning?
Think Progress: How Elizabeth Warren Is Pulling The Strings In 2016.
Back in March of this year, Senator Elizabeth Warren dashed scores of progressives’ hopes and dreams with one simple sentence: “I’m not running and I’m not going to run.”
But the influential Massachusetts Democrat is still very much a part of the 2016 presidential election. Her recent private meeting with Vice President Joe Biden — who is said to be seriously considering jumping into the race — has sparked enthusiastic speculation of a possible endorsement, or even a Biden/Warren ticket. Last week, she cast doubt over the widely-held assumption that Hillary Clinton would be the decided nominee. “I don’t think anyone’s been anointed,” she said.
That Warren holds more influence as a non-candidate than as a candidate is not a new idea. But now that presidential campaigns are well underway, the degree of that influence is becoming more visible. Coincidentally or not, the major Democratic contenders have been pressured to take positions on many of Warren’s own key issues.
There’s plenty more at the link.
Vice President Biden invited top Democratic donors to meet with him after Labor Day, and President Obama is said to have given his “blessing” Monday, heightening the buzz over the veep’s Oval Office ambitions.
“I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of an endorsement during the Democratic primary,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said during a briefing.
He added that President Obama has said making Biden his running mate “was the smartest decision he ever made in politics” and that those comments reflected on Obama’s views of Biden’s “aptitude” for the presidency.
“I’ll just say that the vice president is somebody who has already run for President twice. He’s been on a national ticket through two election cycles now, both in 2008 and in the reelection of 2012,” Earnest said.
“So I think you could make the case that there is probably no one in American politics today who has a better understanding of exactly what is required to mount a successful national presidential campaign” than Biden, he continued.
Republicans would be thrilled to run a candidate against Biden. Check this out from right wing site The Blaze: Run, Joe, Run. But You’ll Have To Do It Without Elizabeth Warren.
After nearly two terms of Obama and all the years with unforgettable Biden “gaffes,” could anyone really cast a vote for him; even those on the left?
How could Biden be taken seriously when he’s said so many things that made people shake their heads in amusement … or is that amazement?
Who could forget when Biden said, “My mother believed and my father believed that if I wanted to be president of the United States, I could be, I could be vice president!”
Or, how about the first campaign rally when Biden introduced Obama by saying, “A man I’m proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next president of the United States — Barack America!”
Also, who could forget his not too politically correct mention of ethnicities when he said, “You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent … I’m not joking.”
Finally, who could forget all of those pictures with uncomfortable looking women seemingly wishing they could remind Biden about the rules of personal space?
This right winger is making far more sense than anyone in the corporate media. A bit more:
While it’s almost too late to jump into the race at this point, many supporters tout Warren as being “right about everything.” So, maybe they wouldn’t care how late it is.
Remember, Biden is considering getting into the race this late in the game so anything is possible. However, Warren has repeatedly said she is not running for president.
Even if she were to consider running as a vice presidential candidate, it seems more likely that she would run with Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) because many believe and rightfully so, that their left-wing socialist policiesare very similar.
So far I’ve only seen one article that deals with the real chaos that would ensue if Biden runs, with or without Warren’s backing. Regarding the possibility of Warren being Biden’s running mate and/or supporter, Michael Tomasky writes: Hillary vs. Biden Would Get Ugly Fast.
The big Biden question is whether he’s just preparing in case Clinton becomes felled by scandal or “scandal,” or whether he decides in the near future that she’s damaged enough already that he might as well hop on the bus and see where it takes him. The former course of action, well, that’s all right; given what appear to be Bernie Sanders’s general-election limitations and the fact that Martin O’Malley isn’t exactly setting the nation on fire, it seems a reasonable thing for him to be thinking about.
But what if he just decides the hell with it, I’m running? A Biden v. Clinton primary battle could be—and if Biden manages to win a couple of primaries, most certainly would be—far more acrimonious than the Clinton-Barack Obama fight of 2008.
Three reasons. The first has to do with race and gender and history. When Clinton announced in 2007, she was going to be the first woman president. Then Obama got in, and he was going to be the first black president. He totally trumped her on the history-maker scale. I realize not everyone saw it that way, but in general terms, given the, ah, special racial history of this country, and given the role the Democratic Party played in changing that history for the better, Obama had the larger and more morally urgent historical claim to make in the minds of most Democrats and liberals. The woman would have to wait, as women so often do.
Well, she’s waited. Not that she had any choice in the matter, but she did. And now, to a lot of Democrats, it’s her turn. The party can make history twice in a row. Imagine!
So now, an old white guy is going to saunter in and step on that? And if he’s going to do it, he’s not going to be able to do it politely, which brings us to reason number two why this would get ugly. Biden is not going to get anywhere with a campaign that says: “I have better ideas than Hillary Clinton does,” because he probably doesn’t, and she has perfectly fine and laudable ideas, even if a lot of liberals don’t want to admit that yet.
No. He’s going to have to run a campaign that says, sub rosa: “I’m a stronger and safer nominee because she’s corrupt.” Because that’s the only argument, is it not? He can’t out-populist her, really, even with Warren promoting him—he’s been in politics for 40 years and he’s always been a pretty conventional establishment liberal on economics. He can maybe say he has more experience, but she’s got plenty of that, and it’s not a deficiency; it would be like Tim Duncan saying I have more experience than LeBron James. Yeah, you do. So what?
Yes it would get incredibly ugly–especially if Warren is involved in Biden’s decision or his campaign.
That’s why I’m hopping mad this morning. Warren needs to clarify the situation right away.
What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links on any topic in the comment thread.
That is fabulous!
Now for the rest.
And I will end it with this one, from Luckovich of course:
This is an open thread.
I don’t know if it is morning or afternoon.
I feel like shit.
I look like shit.
I’ve been dealing with shit. (Bad sinus infection, bronchitis and a fall down the stairs that has left my shin busted, bloodied, bruised and completely contused.)
I’ve been picking up shit. (Dog, literal. Kids and husband, metaphorically.)
And I have realized that if I dropped dead tomorrow, or yesterday, or last week….things would go about as usual….except for two people who would be wearing the same stinking outfit every day. Of those two, one would eventually die of starvation because he would lose his job at the BiLo from said unsanitary work uniform and therefore would be unable to maintain his daily McDonald’s habit. The other surviving on dip, beer/wine and snacks with the occasional “cookout” meat of choice, will more than likely be found half eaten by the aforementioned dog, after having passed out while sitting on the toilet after an all night binge of Teen Wolf. (BTW that dog….whose shit I have been stuck cleaning up because since I have been sick, the beer, wine, dip and snacks, poptart wrapper and chicken bone have found their way into said dog.)
I guess you can tell who I am talking about. The two Y chromosomes in my life. Bebe can take care of herself. And she does her own laundry when she needs to….she is my trouper.
But what a hell it is to see and feel the way I do.
Anyway, please post whatever you want, I probably won’t read it until a couple of days because this cold is so bad, my leg hurts like a mutha, and my iphone is kaputs. (New replacement should be here in a few days. )
So, just telling it like it is…
This is an open thread.
Some times right wingers get so caught up in their frames that they will drop all buzz words and pretension of being anything other than self-aborbed assholes steeped in white privilege. Yesterday, the Editors of the Chicago Tribune let slip the dogs of class war. There are many who seek a return to colonial plantation economics by demonizing and isolating the poor and disadvantaged. These folks with dreams of Randian dystopias are the worst of rent seekers who peddle influence through lobbyists and stupid, greedy politicians. Their attack dogs usually frame class warfare on the poor and middle class families by poor shaming and seek elimination of unions, public education, and safety nets like those for the elderly and the unemployed. It’s rare you get to actually see one of these “conservatives’ write–even metaphorically–about cleansing society of them in such an honest way.
The Chicago Tribune published an op ed by Kristen McQueary that openly pined for a Katrina-like disaster for Chicago so that the kind of carpetbaggers we’ve been dealing with here who have been sucking all the resources and profits they can out of us can free Chicago from its black population and teacher unions and other right wing bugaboos. She wails and laments that it was only use of metaphor. Most of us can see the true intent. Here’s McQueary’s little wet dream.
That’s why I find myself praying for a storm. OK, a figurative storm, something that will prompt a rebirth in Chicago. I can relate, metaphorically, to the residents of New Orleans climbing onto their rooftops and begging for help and waving their arms and lurching toward rescue helicopters.
Tell me exactly again how this little white girl can compare feeling overtaxed and overregulated by her local government so much that 10 days on a roof experiencing unimaginable heat, hunger, death, and thirst could compare–even “metaphorically”–to her “struggle”. Her goal?
Residents overthrew a corrupt government. A new mayor slashed the city budget, forced unpaid furloughs, cut positions, detonated labor contracts. New Orleans’ City Hall got leaner and more efficient. Dilapidated buildings were torn down. Public housing got rebuilt. Governments were consolidated.
An underperforming public school system saw a complete makeover. A new schools chief, Paul Vallas, designed a school system with the flexibility of an entrepreneur. No restrictive mandates from the city or the state. No demands from teacher unions to abide. Instead, he created the nation’s first free-market education system.
Hurricane Katrina gave a great American city a rebirth.
She obviously did no homework on the ground when she wrote these things. I doubt she’d put her children into any charter school here where most are under-performing as badly as before but hey, some nice white, upwardly mobile carpetbaggers are making profits out of it instead of teacher’s making living wages.
Part of the “reform” was the wholesale firing of some 7,000 teachers, most of whom were black, who formed the backbone of the city’s middle class. That hurt.
One parent complained that the all-choice system actually disempowered parents. If she complained, she risked being asked to leave the charter school. The schools have more autonomy, but parents have less power.
Berkshire says the charter sector is now consolidating, with chains taking over most of the stand-alone charters, and with the successful charters defined as those that produce the highest scores. Innovation is hard to find. What is common practice is long days, tough discipline, testing, and “no excuses.” One parent lamented that the charter sector thinks that parents and children are problems, not patrons of the schools.
Ignored in the celebratory accounts, she says, is the large number of young people who are not in school and the persistence of poverty and youth violence …
The performance of these schools is now well documented. However, these numbers mater not to ideologues like McQueary who would rather read effusive statements of similarly minded ideologues and reports cooked up by think tanks wishing to see more of the same.
But then there is Mercedes Schneider, who reports that the state released 2015 ACT scores for every district, and the New Orleans Recovery School District ranked 70th out of 73 districts in the state. Its ACT scores are virtually unchanged over the past three years. The RSD ACT scores of 16.6 are far below the state average of 19.4.
An average ACT score of 16.6 is low. Louisiana State University requires a composite score of 22. A composite of 20 qualifies for La’s tuition waiver to a 4-year institution; a composite of 17 qualifies for tuition waiver for 2-year technical college.
And here’s the latest study by Research on Reforms in New Orleans, comparing the Orleans Parish public schools to the reformers’ Recovery School District. “A study of three ninth grade cohorts, beginning with the 2006-07 year, shows that the percentage of OPSB 9th graders who graduate within four years is almost double that of RSD 9th graders, and the RSD’s dropout rate is nearly triple that of the OPSB.”
New Orleans’ poor Black children are still being left behind. Indeed, all poor children are on an “education island” according to analysis done by Andre Perry.
The middle class opted out of the public sector, and the least powerful are on an educational island. Eighty-seven percent of the children in New Orleans public schools are African-American. In the 2004–05 academic year, 77 percent of New Orleans students were part of the free and reduced lunch program, which was how schools primarily measured poverty.
The term “economically disadvantaged” is the designation currently used, but it entails the percentage of students eligible for SNAP, TANF or Medicaid. At the start of the 2014 academic year, 84 percent of students were economically disadvantaged. Economically disadvantaged students make up 92 percent of enrollment at Recovery School District charter schools.
For the educated, New Orleans is the most wonderful city on the planet. But our enjoyment is a function of a peculiar distance from the poor.
McQueary provided a laundry list of conservative goals that the city met after it had been battered so badly it barely function as a city anymore: “[a] new mayor slashed the city budget, forced unpaid furloughs, cut positions, detonated labor contracts[,]” making “New Orleans’ City Hall leaner and more efficient.” It never occurred to her that if your ideology requires thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced in order to be enacted, the problem likely isn’t the city — it’s your ideology.
Putting aside that McQueary’s vision of Chicago as a mansion on the hill requires the eradication of many of its African-American residents, the most disturbing aspect of her editorial is that she imagines herself to be one of those residents, stranded on a rooftop waving this very op-ed like a bed-sheet in the hopes of being rescued.
“I can relate, metaphorically, to the residents of New Orleans climbing onto their rooftops and begging for help and waving their arms and lurching toward rescue helicopters.” She did, literally, write that. But she went one step further, arguing that her plight is more desperate than those in New Orleans because “here, no one responds to the SOS messages painted boldly in the sky.”
Besides the fact that that final line makes absolutely no sense — New Orleans residents weren’t hiring biplanes to alert authorities as to their whereabouts via skywriting — the problem with McQueary’s editorial is that it exists, which points to a failure of judgment on her part, as well as that of every member of the editorial board who read and signed off on her egregious “hot take.”
Indeed, this has been a “hot take” for some time. David Brooks–notorious unemployable plutocrat–started this meme almost immediately with his little puddling space on the NYT. This is from September 8,2005.
Hurricane Katrina has given us an amazing chance to do something serious about urban poverty.
That’s because Katrina was a natural disaster that interrupted a social disaster. It separated tens of thousands of poor people from the run-down, isolated neighborhoods in which they were trapped. It disrupted the patterns that have led one generation to follow another into poverty.
It has created as close to a blank slate as we get in human affairs, and given us a chance to rebuild a city that wasn’t working. We need to be realistic about how much we can actually change human behavior, but it would be a double tragedy if we didn’t take advantage of these unique circumstances to do something that could serve as a spur to antipoverty programs nationwide.
The first rule of the rebuilding effort should be: Nothing Like Before. Most of the ambitious and organized people abandoned the inner-city areas of New Orleans long ago, leaving neighborhoods where roughly three-quarters of the people were poor.
Yes. Those ideas worked so well we now can read these headlines in the Time Picayune: “New Orleans is 2nd worst for income inequality in the U.S., roughly on par with Zambia, report says.” This story dates from roughly a year ago on August 8, 2014.
New Orleans ranks second worst in the country for income inequality, according to Bloomberg, which maintains a ranking of the most unequal cities in the country. The report puts inequality in New Orleans roughly on par with that in Zambia, according to statistics kept by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Bloomberg plotted America’s 50 most unequal cities according to their Gini coefficient, which measures the concentration of income, rather than overall income (gross domestic product) or the wealth of the average citizen (median income). In a country with a Gini coefficient of 0, all residents enjoy the same level of income. In a country with a Gini coefficient of 1, a single person holds all the country’s wealth.
New Orleans’ Gini index was .5744.
Only Atlanta — .5882 — had a higher coefficient than New Orleans, according to Bloomberg. Atlanta’s median household income was $46,466, more than $12,000 higher than that of New Orleans. Even as Atlanta had more inequality than New Orleans, the average resident in Atlanta was much better off than the average New Orleanian.
Adam Johnson–writing for Alternet--considered the Op-Ed to be down right evil. Again, we’ve seen this before from the corporate elite who just love to make money at our expense and to label us a wasteland where they can come imprint their culture and priorities onto us. Forget the fact we invented jazz, a unique form of American cuisine, and nearly every one in the world wants to visit, we’re just one big wasteland that is overrun with poor folk!
It’s a sentiment not uncommon on the corporate right. The idea that Katrina was a sort of biblical flood that washed away liberal excess in New Orleans is taken as gospel by conservatives and corporate democrats alike. Even Obama’s Secretary of Education got into a bit of hot water when he said in 2010 Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans”.
He later walked back the statement after a torrent of backlash but his point was clear: mass tragedy provides an opportunity for corporate forces to expedite the raiding of public trusts and circumvention of democracy and collective bargaining. It’s an axiom so taken for granted that a recent tone-deaf tweet by the New York Times even insisted the foodie culture was “better” after Katrina. Needless to say this left a bad taste in several people’s mouth, going viral for the wrong reasons:
But McQueary’s piece is far worse. Praising a devastating storm that killed 1,800 people as a net positive is already a terrible thing. Expressly wishing for a devastating storm to come along and wipe out the third largest city in America so one can expedite a Randian end times is positively psychotic. In an attempt to be polemical, Ms. McQueary exposes the dark heart at the core of what Naomi Klein calls “disaster capitalism”. For these people, it is not a thought experiment. It’s not rhetorical. It’s real. They truly believe largely-black, union-friendly cities would be better off in the long run handing over the reigns of their local governments to technocratic, largely white neoliberal systems. To them, the tragedy of Katrina wasn’t the mass displacement and death of thousands, it was that it didn’t happen soon enough.
Just two weeks after Katrina, when 96% of the corpses still remained unidentified and the Superdome was, according to FEMA, a “toxic biosphere“, Koch-funded Freedom Works published an op-ed in The National Review calling the storm a “golden opportunity” and insisting officials use the ensuing chaos to push for massive corporate overhaul of the New Orleans education system.
McQueary attempted to make the giant leap between the subject she wanted to write about—i.e. perceived fiscal irresponsibility in Chicago—and the subject she hopelessly tried to connect it to—her idea of the rebirth of New Orleans on the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Now there’s no doubt that New Orleans has made great strides and implemented remarkable reforms in the aftermath of Katrina. As McQueary rightly points out, the city is in many ways back to normalcy (or whatever the New Orleans equivalent of “normalcy” is) and has emerged from catastrophe a stronger place.
But there is no balance to her idealized perception of a utopian New Orleans where corruption, overspending, and waste (to her mind, in the form of “unnecessary” city employees) have been thoroughly uprooted. She forgets the fact that in the past ten years New Orleans has seen a mayor federally indicted and jailed for giving his sons’ company prejudicial treatment in city contracts, many thousands of poor New Orleanians still unable or unwilling to return to a city that doesn’t want them, and a New Orleans East that remains utterly blighted and left behind in the overall recovery of the city—and those issues are only the tip of the iceberg.
But I might have been able to forgive her for her misguided and Ayn-Rand-esque idealizing of my hometown, if she had not simultaneously idealized and glossed-over the depth of suffering and pain that so many New Orleanians went through—including myself.
So when I see a professional writer from the premier newspaper of the city in which I currently reside—who decidedly did not experience this catastrophe herself—writing about “wishing for a storm in Chicago… A dramatic levee break. Geysers bursting through manhole covers. A sleeping city, forced onto the rooftops,” I get a little angry.
Better yet, I get infuriated.
Again, let me tell you, the recovery from Hurricane Katrina is a totally different experience and depends on which side of town you live on. It’s been characterized as a Tale of Two Cities. Uptown is under perpetual road reconstruction. Downtown still is pockmarked with deep, deep potholes and impossible roads. That’s just one really noticeable example that I personally can provide. There are a lot more provided in this WBUR interview with Allison Plyer, chief demographer at The Data Center with Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd discussing a new report.
“We know from the disaster literature, a couple of things: that whatever the trends were before the disaster tend to get accelerated after the disaster, and also folks that were doing okay, or doing well, actually benefit from all the new infrastructure. But folks who were poor or had poor health, it’s really hard for them to recover. The shock is often too much.
So what we’re seeing is growing income inequality as many of our white households are doing much better but black households are not. We see employment rates for black men are virtually the same that they were before the storm, but for white men they are much better. It’s interesting down here, if you talk to folks, it’s almost like a tale of two cities and it often splits on racial lines.
So you’ll talk to white folks and they’ll say, ‘Wow! The city is doing much better. Never been better, all these great things are happening. Entrepreneurship, the economy is great, our wages are up. Etcetera, etcetera.’ But you’ll talk to black folks and they’ll say, ‘Things are much worse, a lot of our neighbors aren’t here. It’s been such a struggle to rebuild. I don’t even had some of the business networks I used to have.’”
Then, there’s actual reporting like this from the National Geographic: “10 Years After Katrina, Some Are ‘Homeless in Their Own Homes’; Even after a decade, elderly, frail, and disabled New Orleanians are without homes or essential services.”
The state-administered Road Home program, financed with grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, has handed out $9 billion in rebuilding grants to 119,000 Louisiana homeowners. But thousands of those recipients were never able to finish repairs. There are many reasons for this, but the most common is contractors who took grants and didn’t finish work. Ramm-Gramenz says nine of ten of her cases involve contractor fraud, which ran rampant in the wake of the hurricane, especially with older people.
“It breaks my heart,” says Travers Kurr, a street-outreach worker for UNITY of Greater New Orleans, who, since Katrina, has worked with hundreds of people living in squalor in their own flood-damaged homes, often surrounded by mildewed photographs of happier days.
Despite their limitations, some of these people may have been capable of living on their own before the flood. Neighbors say they used to see Angel Boutte outside of her home and they often brought her plate dinners. But in recent years, she’s become a recluse within her family’s house, which Boutte says has barely been touched since floodwaters submerged it and she was rescued from the roof by helicopters (records indicate Boutte did not receive a Road Home grant).
Recently, Boutte, 52, peeked through a window screen that’s ripped in the middle, showing her black dress and a large crucifix. She’s lived in the once-tidy brick house since she was about six, she says. Her mother died in 1984, and her father died in 1998. And while the house may look bleak now, Boutte remains confident that people will come to her aid.
An analysis by The Data Center found that 25 percent of residential home addresses in New Orleans were still blighted or vacant in 2010, five years after the storm. Since that time, the city has demolished a total of 4,106 buildings through a careful blight-abatement process, but tens of thousands of empty properties remain.
There are some wonderful pictures at that link of people living in New Orleans right now that you would swear were living in the worst countries in Africa. Also, try these pictures of abandoned homes that are still standing today from The Telegraph if you want to see what I drive by all the time. The only picture in this post that is directly post Katrina is the one at the top. The other three are from these links which are definitely worth the seeing.
I can personally tell you that I am not better off.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
From the title I am guessing you rightly assumed the post is about misogynist shit.
Well, how can you blame me, with the crap over the last few days. So to highlight this thread, you will be entertained with a gaggle of feminist tattoos…yeah, images of actual tatts or tattoo designs that would make any member of the “Gurl Gang” proud.
As always, the pictures were found on: Pinterest: Discover and save creative ideas and there will be a gallery of images at the end of this post.
First up in this latest crapload from NYT….Hillary Clinton Emails Take Long Path to Controversy – NYTimes.com
Now, you know they never really addressed that horrid post from a few weeks back…take that into consideration as you read this, the paper’s most recent attack on Clinton.
Whether Americans believe Mrs. Clinton’s decision to use only a private email account for her public business is a troubling scandal well worth an F.B.I. inquiry, a pragmatic move blown out of proportion by Republican enemies, or something in between, may depend more on their partisan leanings than the facts of the affair itself.
But the email account and its confusing reverberations have become a significant early chapter in the 2016 presidential race and a new stroke in the portrait of the Democrats’ leading candidate.
The tone is heavy on the Republican bias. Sounding more like Fox News really:
Interviews with former State Department officials, law enforcement and intelligence officials, experts on classified information and members of Congress provide further insight into how the controversy developed and where it might lead.
Mrs. Clinton, who has said she now regrets her unorthodox decision to keep private control of her official messages, is not a target in the F.B.I.’s investigation, which is focused on assessing security breaches. Against the backdrop of other current government computer security lapses, notably the large-scale theft of files from the Office of Personnel Management, most specialists believe the occasional appearance of classified information in the Clinton account was probably of marginal consequence.
But exempting herself from the practices imposed on the 24,000 Foreign Service officers and Civil Service workers she oversaw has led to resentment from some former subordinates. And by holding onto the official emails until the State Department was prompted by Congress to ask for them, and then deciding for herself which to preserve, Mrs. Clinton may have provoked mistrust even as she asks American voters to send her to the Oval Office.
The Clinton campaign declined to comment for this article.
Republicans are eager to exploit the issue. House Speaker John A. Boehner has issued a stream of news releases on the emails and the questions he thinks they raise, while the House committee investigating the 2012 attacks on the United States mission in Benghazi, Libya, has expanded its inquiry to include the emails.
There are still unanswered questions: Who at the State Department advised Mrs. Clinton that she could send all her email communications from a private account? What specific criteria did her lawyers use to decide which emails would be deleted on the grounds that they were personal? And what exactly was the classified information that government inspectors say was improperly included in her emails? Outside the political maelstrom, some security experts believe the ultimate judgment of her conduct will come not in a court or from Congress but at the ballot box.
“I think the whole set of circumstances has been scrambled by political considerations surrounding the presidential campaign,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. He said the inadvertent “spillage” of classified information into an unclassified system is quite common.
“If there’s a penalty,” he said, “it may cost her some votes.”
Others say more than politics is at stake. “I was stunned to see that she didn’t use the State Department system for State Department business, as we were always told we had to do,” said William Johnson, a former Air Force officer who served at the department from 1999 to 2011.
Mr. Johnson said his concerns were only compounded by the discovery of classified information in the emails. “If I’d done that, I’d be out on bond right now,” he said. He said he believed that someone should be punished — if not Mrs. Clinton, then career employees whose job was to safeguard secrets and preserve public records.
“It’s not the end of the world; she didn’t give away the crown jewels,” Mr. Johnson said. “But this is not how things are supposed to be done.”
The email controversy breaks into three clear phases: Mrs. Clinton’s initial choices about how to set up her email; her decision to destroy messages she judged to be personal; and the discovery of classified information in an account where it is not allowed by law.
Crown jewels? WTF? Even the coded language is blatant in suggesting Hilary Clinton neutered the US state secrets…
Privacy was something Mrs. Clinton valued but had rarely enjoyed. As first lady in the 1990s, she had weathered multiple investigations of various alleged misdeeds and her husband’s much-publicized infidelity.
Again, this is ridiculous…but the story goes on.
Mrs. Clinton has said she decided in 2009 to handle all her email, official and personal, on one account to avoid carrying multiple electronic devices. Yet early this year she joked that she was “two steps short of a hoarder. So I have an iPad, a mini iPad, an iPhone and a BlackBerry.”
So there may have been other reasons for using a private server. For an oft-attacked politician considering a presidential run, the server would give Mrs. Clinton some control over what would become public from her four years as the nation’s top diplomat. “I’ve been following it very carefully,” said Shiva Ayyadurai, an email pioneer who has designed email systems for both government and large corporations. A private system, he noted, “would make it possible to decide what would be disclosed and what would not.”
They mention the other reason…maybe:
There is another factor that some former colleagues say puts Mrs. Clinton’s decision in a more reasonable light: the archaic, dysfunctional computer systems at the State Department. Only a tiny fraction of emails sent on the State.gov system in recent years have been permanently archived. And former State Department employees describe the unclassified email system in 2009 as frustratingly inadequate.
Using State Department email outside the building involved “incredibly unreliable software,” said one former senior official. “If you had to write a priority message that was more than a paragraph long, it could leave you streaming sweat and screaming at the screen. And that’s when people would turn to their private accounts out of desperation.”
Another official described landing in foreign capitals late at night and having to go to the American Embassy and wake people up simply to check his unclassified email. He called the situation “ludicrous,” though he said the system slowly improved, especially as more people got government BlackBerry devices.
All of these former officials asked not to be named, fearing they might offend Mrs. Clinton or, worse, draw a subpoena from the House Benghazi committee. Several former Clinton aides have hired private counsel at personal expense. “The basic feeling is, if you haven’t been mentioned by the committee, you should keep your name out of it,” said one official.
But in doing so, the NYT’s use of suggesting fear of retribution or subpoenas makes the sources of the information even more unreliable or questionable. As if they are already criminals? Or if not accomplices to the email treason….then they are at the hands of a bitchy emotional woman.
Read the whole article if you can bear it.
Another look at a NYT’s article: Fear That Debate Could Hurt G.O.P. in Women’s Eyes – The New York Times
Give that one a read, see if you don’t also see some leeway allowed in excuses of GOP candidate behavior.
Whit Ayers, a veteran Republican pollster who is advising Mr. Rubio’s campaign, said that “Trump only hurts Republicans among women if he becomes the nominee, which he won’t.”
He added, “The Republican image and the Republican brand will be defined by the Republican nominees for president and vice president, not what a losing candidate said in a debate 15 months before the election.”
In other misogynistic assholery news….Eschaton: At Least He Didn’t Call Her A Goat Fucking Child Molester
Unlike the Fox News debates that divided the 17-candidate field into two groups on crowded stages, the RedState Gathering in Atlanta offered several of those seeking the Republican nomination a half-hour all to themselves. On Saturday, the lineup includes former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Businessman Donald Trump had been on the program, but late Friday RedState’s Erick Erickson said he was withdrawing his invitation because of a comment Trump made earlier that evening about Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly.
Or how everyone seems to ignore the rampant racism, xenophobia, and misogyny of Erick Erickson & his site
In other words, it seems that Erickson’s reason to disinvite has more to do with the target of Trump’s statement than the content of Trump’s statement. Moreover, Erickson was silent about Trump calling women bimbos, let alone calling Mexicans rapists. His misogyny and xenophobia has been on display from the moment Trump got into the race, but Erickson didn’t disinvite him over those statements. For if Trump had directed his statement at someone, say a Democrat, Erickson would applaud.
After all, Erickson applauded Trump’s statements attacking Rosie O’Donnell just the other day.
This is the GOP and its core constituency. This is Erick Erickson and RedState.
More funny moments from the Debate. Patton Oswalt’s live-tweeting of the GOP debate is the best thing that happened last night – Salon.com
A few of my favorites:
On to the Planned Parenthood shitfest.
Now this next story is something else:
What began as a white supremacist slur, inspired by a genre of porn, has infiltrated the conservative mainstream
In a recent article at Salon, Joan Walsh did an excellent job in navigating the political effluence that is the American right’s newborn obsession with “cuckservatives.”
There, she noted how:
“Cuckservative” started showing up in my Twitter mentions last week, after I suggested Donald Trump supporters might not be the brightest bulbs. As I clicked around, I came to a shocking conclusion: I’ve been uncharacteristically downplaying the amount of racism and misogyny powering the right today. The spread of the epithet “cuckservative” is a sign that the crudest psycho-sexual insecurity animates the far right.
“Cuckservative,” you see, is short for a cuckolded conservative. It’s not about a Republican whose wife is cheating on him, but one whose country is being taken away from him, and who’s too cowardly to do anything about it.
OK, that’s gross and sexist enough already, but there’s more. It apparently comes from a kind of pornography known as “cuck,” in which a white husband, either in shame or lust, watches his wife be taken by a black man. Lewis explains it this way: “A cuckservative is, therefore, a race traitor.”
White supremacists have reinforced the racial intent of the “cuckservative” narrative. To that end, Walsh quotes one of their more prominent voices, Richard Spencer:
“The #cuckservative meme doesn’t make any sense without race. It’s all about race…What’s powerful about #cuckservative is that it is call for a racially conscious politics—and not the kind of shot-gun spray muckraking that Johnson specializes in.”
But, as Walsh explains, usage the word hasn’t been limited to white nationalist circles:
Rush Limbaugh helped spread the term to the mainstream when he praised Trump like this: “If Trump were your average, ordinary, cuckolded Republican, he would have apologized by now, and he would have begged for forgiveness, and he would have gone away.”
At present, “cuckservative” is just one more signal of how the contemporary Republican Party and movement conservatism have become a carnival-like human zoo fueled by the talk-radio echo chamber, one where extremism is now mainstream, and the politically adolescent and immature obsessions of “men’s rights” victimologists — with their “alpha males” and “cuckolding” anxieties — are considered reasonable and respectable points of view.
The convergence of white supremacy and conservatism in the modern Republican Party — spurred in part by a renaissance of toxic white masculinity — has produced what, in the moment, appears to be a series of never-ending climaxes and crescendos wherein new levels of absurdity and paranoia replace previous peaks once thought unattainable. The extreme has become the new normal for mainstream American conservatism. As the Republican Party continues its death-spiral embrace of fascism, misogyny, patriarchy, and racism, the political insanity embodied by concepts such as “cuckservative” will become the new normal.
The Daily Kos’ Chris Reeves, offers up a particularly sharp insight on “cuckolding,” “cuckservatives” and the right-wing political imagination:
But for the Republicans using the term #cuckservative, they are doing so out of a place that mirrors what represents the… darker shades of any fetish. Republicans who have used this new term are the same Republicans who used phrases like ‘Sodomite supporter,” “whores.” In that vein, they are now using #cuckservative not just based on the defined sexual act, but for the much darker racial tones that prevail in the rise of pornography that is sold online.
The key thing to note is this:
But the internal logic of the “cuckservative” meme falls flat, because movement conservatives and the right-wing media — even the ones who are now brandishing the term left and right — are not titillated, as these porn enthusiasts are, by the perceived loss of power for white men. They are not in a state of political ecstasy from the thought that people who look like them may have to share more political and social power with people who don’t. No, this camp of aggrieved and imperiled white men, drunk on toxic white masculinity, are terrified of their supposed status as “victims” in a more inclusive and cosmopolitan 21st century America. Whereas cuckolding has its foundations in eroticism, the term “cuckservative” has evolved from a related, but ultimately very different, psychosexual fixation: racialized castration anxieties.
White men saw themselves as the naturally dominant group in the United States from its founding to the present. The idea of white male privilege as “normal” and a given remains inexorably compelling — especially to the “angry” and aggrieved white men who are the base of the Republican Party in the post-civil rights era.
The legacy of the South’s planter class — the 1 percent its time, who profited from the blood of the slave plantations, work camps, tenant labor, sharecropping fields, and chain gangs — is also seen in the contemporary Republican Party. When the Republican Party’s leaders and media elites talk about “makers and takers” and “lazy” American workers, when they wage war on the poor and the social safety net, what we’re seeing is the new political economy of neoliberalism mated with the philosophical legacy of the planter class.
The Republican Party’s fetish for guns, its knee-jerk defense of white-on-black-and-brown police violence and abuse, and its theocratic Christian politics also have many wellsprings in the American South. The right’s desperate efforts to control women’s bodies and reproductive freedoms are likewise a legacy and reminder of how white men’s power has historically extended to their (supposed) ownership over women’s sexuality and health.
Thus, white male anxieties spoken to by those who authored and circulated the “cuckservative” meme are really just evoking a misdirected feeling by some white men that they have lost political power and potency — that they have been, so to speak, castrated.
Remember the quote up top…about the crown jewels?
The phallocentric, racist, and misogynistic obsessions of those on the White Right are reminders of how black men’s bodies were routinely burned, dismembered, how their genitals cut off — all of these things while the victims of such white racial bloodlust were often still alive. The spectacular lynching and torture of black people was a ritual designed to remove Black Americans from political life and to reaffirm white power. The black body was and remains a threat; because of that fact, it has been subjected to gross and cruel disciplines and technologies of punishment and control in the United States and the West more broadly.
Obama’s election was unsettling for conservatives. It drove many on the White Right to conspiratorial and delusional thinking, such as “Birtherism,” and also stirred up other more “old school” types of white racism, because the idea of a black man in the White House, as the United States’ President and symbolic embodiment of American power, was irreconcilable with a Herrenvolk logic that views “real Americans” as white by definition and tradition. The right wing’s fears of changing racial demographics,the mating of conservatism and racism, and the Republican Party’s creeping fascism in the present meant that Obama, as well as his cabinet and other appointees who were female and non-white especially, represented a particularly potent threat to embattled and insecure toxic white masculinity.
If the anxieties and fears of those on the White Right who construct dream worlds of a pornographic imagination, in which white men are being cuckolded and are “victims” of interracial sexual domination, who need to elect an “alpha male” Republican for protection, then Barack Obama is the biggest “BBC” threat of them all.
Which brings me to those who will vote for the first time in 2016:
I just turned 18. At this age, I am very excited about my future as a young adult in America — but simultaneously progressively cynical, as I am exposed to the plethora of issues our nation is facing and the number of national dilemmas my generation will inherit. The way the Republican candidates presented themselves onstage last night did not soothe my cynicism.
From the way they discussed Planned Parenthood and abortion, to the patronizing tone with which they addressed questions involving Hillary Clinton, and the pride they took in promises to undo progress that has been made — almost everything they did made me roll my eyes. In fact, given all that went down on Fox News last night, I’m surprised my eyes didn’t roll right out of my head.
In light of this, here are some notes to a few of the candidates, from a young voter:
Take a look at the link to read her notes to the candidates.
Other links for you, since this thread is getting long:
This next link is just beyond fucking ridiculous: All Is Lost; Nightmare Man “Surprises” Wife With Her Own Pregnancy
In an age where elaborately-staged marriage proposals and tearjerking pregnancy reveals are YouTube commonplace, self-proclaimed vloggers must now go to extreme lengths to achieve maximum virality when announcing their most personal family moments online. One man brought this terrifying reality into stark relief Wednesday when he posted a video titled, “HUSBAND SHOCKS WIFE WITH PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT!”, in which he steals his wife’s urine and subsequently “surprises” her with her own positive pregnancy test.
Men: they have ideas, and they go for them. The man who had this particular idea is a dad vlogger named Sam, who posts videos every single day with his wife, Nia. They’re best known for the viral YouTube hit “Good Looking Parents Sing Disney’s Frozen (Love Is an Open Door).”
This week’s video is much more inventive than a lip sync of a children’s tune, however. Sam reiterated the premise in the caption: “That’s right! For the first time daddy announces the pregnancy to mommy!”
Behold, the most cynical eight minutes of film ever posted to the web:
Go to link to see video…if you dare.
Whether or not Nia actually learned of her pregnancy for the first time during the filming of the video, the idea that a man surprising a woman with the contents of her own uterus in front of millions of viewers is supposed to be—what? Heartwarming? A thoughtful gift? Extremely cool?—is insane. Let this woman have control over at least one thing.
Even if a man is absolutely sure that his partner will be thrilled she’s carrying his child, it is polite to let her discover this information about her own body herself (or together, if she asks).
But in the quest to make the Yahoo! homepage, everything must be sacrificed, including any last tether to reality. In the video, both Sam and Nia address the camera more than they address each other. Despite the fact that she’s getting the shock of her life, Nia habitually refers to “you guys”—the viewers—throughout the video, narrating her experience as it happens.
We’re having a baby. We all are.
The last link today is really interesting. BB, this is for you! The mistake we all make… and the simple experiment that reveals it | Science | The Guardian
A simple experiment questioning people’s response to a picture reveals a common error that hampers our decision making. In an extract from his new book, psychologist Richard Nisbett reveals the ‘mindware’ to help us think smarter
Which of these two faces is happier? Your answer reveals how you see the world. Illustration: Rob Biddulph
I picked the picture on the left…with the black background.
That is it for today…I wanted to say thank you to Dak and BB for covering for me last week. Still seem a bit off but at least I am coming down from that strange place. Today we are going to dinner with my son’s friend…to say goodbye. He is leaving tomorrow to start his journey to become a priest. Isn’t that something? They still do that.
It is an open thread…enjoy your day.
Lots of cartoons for you tonight.
This is an open thread.