Pro Publica has partnered with The Atlantic to do a series on the resegregation of public schools in America. It’s heartbreaking to read how all the difficult, dangerous work of school integration done by so many people in the 1960s and 1970s has essentially been undone by an unwillingness on the part of the politicians, the judiciary and local communities to keep at it. Instead, you’ve got the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court engaging in word games:
“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”
Now there’s a statement which will live forever in American rhetoric, although perhaps not for the reason Roberts might hope. It’s a monument to cynicism, as are many of his arguments. (See his majority opinion in McCutcheon v. FEC, 2014).
Anyway, Nikole Hannah-Jones’s story tells how Tuscaloosa, AL backslid from being one of the most successful school integration stories in the country to a city whose schools have fallen backward: “In Tuscaloosa today, nearly one in three black students attends a school that looks as if Brown v. Board of Education never happened.”
Read the whole thing.
I’m sure there are nice people in Oklahoma. I’m also sure the ones who work in the Governor’s office and who control the state legislature there aren’t. Governor Mary Fallin just signed a bill into law which prohibits cities around the state from establishing minimum wage rates and vacation and sick leave policies.
She and her supporters (Republicans, of course) say
“An artificial raise in the minimum wage could derail local economies in a matter of months. This is a fair measure for consumers, workers and small business owners.”
What it means is municipalities can’t set wage floors or benefit requirements for employers in their jurisdictions.
If you’re asking yourself, “I thought these clowns worshipped the free market and local control of policy. Doesn’t this action completely contradict that?” you’re right. Consistency isn’t a strong point of the modern Republican party.
Will Rogers and Woody Guthrie, both born in Oklahoma, are probably spinning in their graves.
There’s a scofflaw rancher out in Nevada who’s concluded that the Feds have no jurisdiction over land in the state of Nevada (apparently Mr. Bundy has never heard of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the US – Mexican War and included the ceding of ownership of California and a large area comprising New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado to the United States). I’ve seen it suggested elsewhere and it makes sense to me: follow Molly Ivins’ suggestion about what to do with the Branch Davidians in their compound in Waco back in 1993. Molly wrote in a column on March 13 as that standoff continued
build a large fence around the Branch Davidian compound, declare it a prison and have everyone walk away.
What’s to prevent the BLM from blockading all routes in and out of Mr. Bundy’s ranch, with the National Guard in some MRAPs or Bradley Fighting Vehicles if necessary? Then just let Mr. Bundy stew in his own juices until he gets tired of being unable to move his cattle to market.
I’m with Charlie Pierce, too: One of the days the right-wing talkers on the radio and the TV are going to get somebody or somebodies killed.
Bear in mind that Bundy’s entire position is that he can not pay his bills, and that he can ignore a federal judge, because he feels the federal government is illegitimate. (Poor Fred Hampton should have thought of this.) This is conservatism — and, therefore, Republicanism — playing footsie with sedition. This is not the first time, either.
The difference between the present moment, and the days when Helen Chenoweth was riding the range, of course, is the fact that there is a powerful and loud right-wing media infrastructure at the disposal of the people peddling this constitutional poison. Americans For Prosperity jumped right on the Bundy case. Of course, AFP — and the Koch brothers who fund it — isn’t in this for airy philosophical debates on the role of government. They’re in it to break the control of the federal government over the lands that they want to exploit for their own profit, and they are willing to help engage the single most destructive political theory in the country’s history to help them do it. It is reckless and dangerous, and anybody who gets used by these people is a sap. And useful idiots, like Sean Hannity and all the someones like him, are going to get somebody killed behind this stuff.
The Hannitys and O’Reillys and the rest will all squeal like stuck pigs if accused of this, of course, but they have little deniability left.
“He passed me at Doheny and I started to swerve
But I pulled her out and there we were
At Dead Man’s Curve”
This is one of the biggest hits Jan and Dean had before Jan Berry wrecked his car in 1966, just blocks away from the site of the curve immortalized in the song on Sunset Boulevard in LA near Bel Air Estates.
Before the wreck Berry was highly regarded as a record producer, while Dean Torrance was and remains a graphic artist who won a Grammy for best album cover in 1971 and was nominated for three other albums. You might be surprised at the covers he designed. I know I was. I own four or five of them.
Berry died in 2004 of a seizure. He suffered traumatic brain injury as a result of that car crash and never fully recovered. He was 62 years old.
I suppose that withdrawing from a confrontation with Nevada land thief Cliven Bundy was the better part of valor. Nobody in the Federal government wants another Waco or Ruby Ridge incident, although I suspect some of the militia and tea partiers who converged on the jerk’s ranch (and your and my land) would have been quite happy to have a pitched battle, as long as they escaped alive.
The fight between Mr. Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management widened into a debate about states’ rights and federal land-use policy. The dispute that ultimately triggered the roundup dates to 1993, when the bureau cited concern for the federally protected tortoise in the region. The bureau revoked Mr. Bundy’s grazing rights after he stopped paying grazing fees and disregarded federal court orders to remove his animals. (My emphasis)
This turkey broke the law, owes the Federal Government upwards of $1M in past due fees, and has now become a hero to the far right. What a country.
Hawaii Public Radio started its spring pledge drive last Wednesday, the 2nd of April. They hoped to be done in eight days, finishing this Wednesday. Well, trying to get $1,032,000 in that period of time proved undoable this year, so they went overtime and got it done in ten days, finishing tonight around 6:00 PM. It should be said that up until a year or so ago ten days was the time budgeted for these drives, and they were for slightly less money, too. NPR and PRI and the other content distributors have this policy of raising prices for the programs they provide depending on the number of listeners reported, so as your station grows, so do your costs for content. This means HPR has had to request more money on every drive as they’ve expanded listenership by installing new transmitters on other islands.
Cutting the number of days by two even as the dollar amount asked increased was a bold stroke, and it worked the first two or three times they tried it, but not this time. I don’t consider that a major failure. I think this was the first time they’ve asked for more than a million bucks.
Oh, before anyone asks, yes, I pay $12.50 per month to help out.
Occasionally I see a recipe on Facebook which looks worth trying. A friend who works for Cabot Creamery has been celebrating Grilled Cheese Month (who knew, right?) by posting pictures and recipes, and this one looked great: Spicy Sausage and Creamed Corn Quesadillas.
There are excellent photos at that link, but I took one of my own just as the two concoctions were about to go into the oven. I had to use the oven because my grill pan isn’t large enough to hold two 7″ tortillas. I jazzed mine up a little, adding slices of red, green and orange peppers to cooked Italian sausage. Next time I think I’ll slice the sausage before cooking rather than doing so after it’s done; I might get more even cooking that way. I might add some sliced red onion, too. To go with it I microwaved a burrito for each of us, because I didn’t think the quesadilla was enough food. As it turned out I didn’t need to do that.
Jonathan Chait wrote a long piece for New York magazine the other day which came to what I thought was an odd conclusion: race is a subtext for Republican opposition to everything President Obama has tried to do, but it’s not the principal reason for it. In fact, Chait says,
It may be true that, at the level of electoral campaign messaging, conservatism and white racial resentment are functionally identical. It would follow that any conservative argument is an appeal to white racism. That is, indeed, the all-but-explicit conclusion of the ubiquitous Atwater Rosetta-stone confession: Republican politics is fundamentally racist, and even its use of the most abstract economic appeal is a sinister, coded missive.
Impressive though the historical, sociological, and psychological evidence undergirding this analysis may be, it also happens to be completely insane. Whatever Lee Atwater said, or meant to say, advocating tax cuts is not in any meaningful sense racist.
Oh, I don’t know. Look at who benefits from the kind of tax cuts Republicans always push: rich white people.
Jamelle Bouie, however, has written a much more serious rebuttal to Chait than my single sentence there. He looks at the same paragraph I quote up there and comes to a more apposite conclusion:
What’s odd about the argument is that Chait clearly shows the extent to which conservatism–even if it isn’t “racist”–works to entrench racial inequality through “colorblindness” and pointed opposition to the activist state. But rather than take that to its conclusion, he asks us to look away: “Impressive though the historical, sociological, and psychological evidence undergirding this analysis may be, it also happens to be completely insane. Whatever Lee Atwater said, or meant to say, advocating tax cuts is not in any meaningful sense racist.”
Read the whole thing.
I had to go see the periodontist today. His office and my regular dentist’s office have a good racket going. I’m supposed to see each of them every six months, and they’ve worked between them to ensure that I go no more than three months without seeing one or the other of them.
Anyway, the hygienist nattered at me about gum recession, saying fluoride would help, but our water doesn’t have it. The loonies have managed to persuade our legislators that we’ll all die if our water is fluoridated. So I have several teeth whose gums are receding down to root level. Thanks, loonies!
She painted all my teeth with a fluoride goo and told me that the mouthwash I’ve been using isn’t the right one for flouride — I need Listerine’s Total Care product, not the Cool Mint antiseptic stuff I’ve been using. She also made me wonder about Crest toothpaste, which I’ve been using for as long as I’ve been brushing my teeth. I checked. The variety I use has fluoride.
Then I drove home, turned around and took Mom down to the corner to pick up her new glasses.
I hope y’all had a quieter Monday than that.