Thursday, February 11, 2016

In The States And Cities, The Color Of Racism Is Green

"In many ways, the eruption of anger that occurred in Ferguson after Mr. Brown’s death had its roots in the city’s struggles to pay its bills. The Justice Department investigation found that the city used its police officers partly as a shakedown crew to fund its operations. In 2011, 13 percent of operational revenues came from tickets and fees collected by the municipal court; in 2013, that had risen to 20 percent." - Christian Science Monitor, February 10, 2016

"Why were the cops so hell-bent on stamping out the sales of loosies, which typically sell for 75 cents a pop in Staten Island (and two times or more that in Manhattan)? New York City boasts the highest cost for cigarettes in the nation, with a pack ranging anywhere from $12 and up. The city lays its own taxes on top of the state’s, in an effort both to raise revenue and discourage use of tobacco." - Daily Beast article on the death of Eric Garner, December 3, 2014

"Flint’s citizens, 52 percent African American, have been deprived of the right to govern their city since 2011. Michigan's Emergency Manager Law allows the governor to appoint an unelected official to control a city determined to be in fiscal crisis. Emergency financial managers have been primarily assigned to majority-African-American cities across Michigan. In the past decade, over half of African Americans in Michigan—compared with only 2 percent of whites—have lived under emergency management. EFMs are supposed to take over cities based on a neutral evaluation of financial circumstances—but majority-white municipalities with similar money problems have not been taken over. Flint’s poisoning is one effect of the systematic stripping of black civil rights in Michigan." - The Root, January 9, 2016

"[S]tate and local taxes... fall disproportionately on the working and middle classes. The difference is shown by the latest annual report on 'Who Pays Taxes in America,' released last week by Citizens for Tax Justice. (Hat tip to Josh Harkinson of Mother Jones.) 
'Contrary to popular belief,' CTJ finds, 'when all taxes are considered, the rich do not pay a disproportionately high share of taxes.'
CTJ shows that combined local, state and federal taxes produce a system that more resembles a flat tax than a progressive tax... Overall, the bottom 99% pay 29.8% of their income in taxes, a ratio not much smaller than the top 1%." - LA Times, April 13, 2015

"While states struggled to close over $400 billion in total budget gaps over the past few years – with some unusual instances like Maryland actually able to end the last fiscal year with a $344 million surplus –  the $164 billion in federal stimulus aid is about to run out.  States are expected to face a collective $82 billion or more in budget gaps in the coming fiscal year, with governments like California (the largest state in the Union and the 15th largest economy in the world) faced with a $25 billion shortfall...
And in our interview, Wolff also explains that African Americans will be the most severely impacted population.  Some 20% of state and municipal workers are Black.  In some major cities, African Americans constitute the majority of local government workers...
'There is a unique history behind high levels of African American employment in many states and locales,' [Economics professor Dr. Max Wolff]  says.  'This history emerged out of civil rights struggles and past patterns of severe employment discrimination against African Americans in hiring.' The coming budget cuts and layoffs in state and local government could further erode the Black middle-class in a recession that has shown little mercy for it." - Politico365, February 3, 2011

TRUMP TALES OF TERROR is about ugly creatures, murderous fantasies, and apocalyptic worlds – and they’re right in America. YOU CAN BUY IT HERE.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Does That Guy Who Poisoned Flint, Michigan Remind You Of Anyone?

"Snyder, who spent more than $5.8 million of his own cash on the primary, consistently portrayed himself as a political outsider whose business experience can disentangle the legislative gridlock in Lansing.

'If you're happy with our current system, you should seriously look at those people,' he said at a press conference last year kicking off his campaign.'If you fundamentally believe we are a disaster and we lack leadership, I am the clear choice.'"

From The Ann Arbor News, August 3, 2010

TRUMP TALES OF TERROR is about ugly creatures, murderous fantasies, and apocalyptic worlds – and they’re right in America. YOU CAN BUY IT HERE.

I Don't Know Who I Will Vote For In The Primary

There. Had to get that out into the open. Many of you readers know that I'm the Mayor of Goddamn Liberaltown. Bernie Sanders reflects my philosophy best, because he's a Socialist. If you're not ready to criticize the American capitalist system and our imperialist foreign policy on the fundamentals, you are not paying attention.

Here's the thing: Electability is my main issue. We are facing off against the forces of fucking Mordor here, with Donald Trump playing the role of the Racist Balrog and Ted Cruz starring as the wet fart of Sauron.

Is Hillary Clinton a corporatist warmonger? Of course she is. Jesus. But she's not as bad as the other side. Period. She's a real Democrat, and there are a pile of issues on which I agree, or almost agree, with her. I would literally vote for the shaved left nut of Lucifer himself, running with the taint of Judas Iscariot, if they were on the Democratic ticket. Especially now that the GOP has embraced open racism, open bigotry against Muslims, and a brutal approach to foreign policy that should sicken you. I've spent years criticizing these guys, but they have gotten worse recently. They want to take America to a dark place, a place even I have a hard time describing adequately.

Here's the other thing: I don't know that Hillary wins on electability. I really don't. She's the pro in this, but how much enthusiasm can she generate on our side? And yeah, they're going to demonize Bernie, but they've been demonizing Hillary since 1992. The establishment GOP demonizes all Democrats as too liberal, and then the movement conservatives demonize the establishment GOP as too liberal, and then the Trump supporters demonize the movement conservatives as too liberal, but then the establishment GOP points out that the Trump supporters themselves are actually too liberal. It is a snake eating its own ass, folks.

I'm going to continue pondering on this. In the meantime, here are my thoughts, conclusions, and exhortations:

1. Please write in and tell me what you think about the electability issue.
2. Please, please, please support your fellow Democrats - even the ones with whom you disagree. The other side wants a registry of Muslim Americans, a rollback of LGBT rights, they will ignore the ongoing destruction of African American lives, they want to hunt immigrants like animals, and they want to bomb the Middle East until it glows. They've said this. Think about how you'd feel if your life, or your family's lives, were on the line, and some people didn't want to help because their second choice in the election wasn't good enough.

TRUMP TALES OF TERROR is about ugly creatures, murderous fantasies, and apocalyptic worlds – and they’re right in America. YOU CAN BUY IT HERE.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Relief Of Not Believing In Hell

Alice over at Whatsoever Is Lovely writes about how she became a nonbeliever, and she recently posted about what a relief it is to come across nice and decent gay people and not have to wrestle with the question of whether or not they will be tortured for all eternity in the most hideous fashion for the glory of a perfect and loving God.

Turns out, not having to wrap your head around that nonsense is pretty sweet.

I'm a nonbeliever who has a real appreciation for progressive Christianity. But hell is a stupid idea. Universal reconciliation or get the fuck out. (Or you can try my brand of cynical agnosticism. I totes recommend.)

TRUMP TALES OF TERROR is about ugly creatures, murderous fantasies, and apocalyptic worlds – and they’re right in America. YOU CAN BUY IT HERE.

Is Trump Lying About The Size Of His Crowds?

"At a rally last week in Little Rock, Ralph Shoptaw, the general manager of the Arkansas state fair, announced that Trump had drawn a record crowd of 11,500 to the Barton Coliseum. But a reporter for the Daily Mail documented significant portions of the arena sitting empty and estimated attendance at 6,000. Shoptaw told the reporter that the 11,500 figure was provided by the campaign (Trump called it 12,000 in a tweet).

One person briefed on the behind-the-stage happenings at the event said that Trump had refused to go on stage until Shoptaw declared the crowd record-sized. Shoptaw did not respond to requests for comment from POLITICO."

Read the rest here.

TRUMP TALES OF TERROR is about ugly creatures, murderous fantasies, and apocalyptic worlds – and they’re right in America. YOU CAN BUY IT HERE.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Privilegefest '16 - The Oregon Standoff

"You are going to get to surrender without being hung out of hand as has been the traditional fate of traitors in arms. You will get an expensive and public trial in which you are very likely to be given a ridiculously vast amount of privilege to spout your idiotic, treasonous nonsense and justify your greedy and selfish seizure of our public patrimony. And, even if you are convicted of the crimes you have so self-evidently committed, you will have careful and relatively benign jailers who will ensure that you are released unharmed to resume your deluded and delusional defiance of both republican government and common sense which I know you will because...well, you're you and can no more stop being you than a howler monkey can stop flinging its poop.

In short, you are some seriously lucky sonsofbitches and you need to accept that and go quietly to the lawmen and surrender."

Read the rest at Graphic Firing Table here. This was a couple weeks ago, but I just found it this morning, and it's still solid. The blog is quirky and fun. But my favorite parts are when the writer gets in one of those "I'm not going to take anymore of this bullshit" moods. Check it out.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Real Estate Tycoon's Discrete Girlfriend - A Letter (By Donald Trump)

(From The Classy Poems Of Donald Trump - an ongoing project)

While I still had my natural boobs,
I played piano in the talent portion of the Miss Bergen County pageant.
You came with your coat of luxurious cashmere, tipping well.
And we went on talking in the hotel bar called Tipsy’s.
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.

At 22 I got involved with My Lord you.
I never laughed at your jokes.
And said those things about the condition of your scalp.
Called to, a thousand times, I pretended my momager was on the phone.

At 24 I stopped scowling,
I desired my name to be mingled with yours
So you can help me with my career and turn into a classy woman.
Why should I be afraid to sign the non-disclosure agreement?

At 25 you departed,
You went into politics. We couldn’t be seen together,
and you have been gone five months.
The slot players make sorrowful noise overhead.

If you are coming down through the area,
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you

As far as Newark Airport.

TRUMP TALES OF TERROR is about ugly creatures, murderous fantasies, and apocalyptic worlds – and they’re right in America. YOU CAN BUY IT HERE.
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