Member since: Tue Mar 8, 2005, 06:39 PM
Number of posts: 25,551
Number of posts: 25,551
As the article notes, a disproportionate quantity of minorities are poor and this is a problem, but it is still a minority of poor people and representing poor people as overwhelmingly minorities just gets into the stereotypes.
According to Census figures in 2013, 18.9 million whites are poor. That’s 8 million more poor white people than poor black people, and more than 5 million more than those who identify as Latino. A majority of those benefiting from programs like food stamps and Medicaid are white, too.
But somehow our picture of poverty is different, and the media tends to tell us a different story. A recent New York Times story, “Cut in Food Stamps Forces Hard Choices on Poor,” included only pictures of African Americans and Latinos from the Bronx, N.Y., and a number of Southern states. In October, the Times published another story about the impact of states’ rejection of the Medicaid expansion that’s part of the Affordable Care Act.
The images accompanying that story were also all of black or Latino families. Was that because only blacks and Latinos receive Medicaid? No.
This stereotype, like most stereotypes, harms black people in myriad ways, especially because the political right has linked poverty with moral failure as a trope to undermine public support for government programs—remember Ronald Reagan’s welfare queen? These tactics didn’t end in the 1980s. Last week, for example, Fox News’ Brad Blakeman said the government was "like a drug dealer" peddling "dependency" to food-stamp recipients.
Social scientists and others have long made the observation that the media over-emphasizes people of color in coverage of poverty and government benefits. But if the message hasn’t yet reached even the New York Times, it clearly needs to be said again.
Posted by Mass | Tue Dec 3, 2013, 09:08 AM (2 replies)
Probably a loss of time posting this here given the number of people who loves posting these Halperin stories, but here it is.
The authors of “Double Down” — Mark Halperin and John Heilemann — have found a way to exploit this phenomena for fun and profit. They seek out disaffected campaign staffers and consultants and provide an anonymous conduit for them to spin their preferred version of what transpired. This creates a prisoner’s dilemma for those who might not ordinarily be inclined to speak to Halperin and Heilemann. If they don’t cooperate, their critics might be the only people who shape the narrative of the campaign. By playing different factions within campaigns against it each other, Heilemann and Halperin get a lot of folks to talk. Interviews are conducted on “deep background” and the books contain “no source notes.”
This has been an extremely lucrative exercise for the authors. Their first book on the 2008 campaign, “Game Change,” was a bestseller and optioned into an HBO movie. Halperin and Heilemann received an advance for “Double Down” that exceeded $5 million.
Nevertheless, each salacious nugget is breathlessly reported by large media outlets who, it seems, can’t resist. A Google News search for the book already returns 848 results, before this piece added one more. This creates buzz, more sales and more buzz. Full of tidbits of dubious import, “Double Down” seems destined for the bestseller list as well. But if you are interested in an accurate understanding of the 2012 campaign, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
And if you insist thinking that they report things that matter, here is a guide of anonymous sources that is worth reading before reading what is little more than gossip from the Beltway.
Posted by Mass | Fri Nov 1, 2013, 03:44 PM (1 replies)
Which begs the question, can the 15% remaining tell us what harm was done to them.
No surprise there. Even our Republican candidates are for the most part enlightened on this issue, as the next few Republican candidates for statewide office show (Scottie excepted, of course).
Posted by Mass | Fri Sep 27, 2013, 12:33 PM (1 replies)
Bubble watcher: Neither Mr. Bernanke nor his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, believed that the Federal Reserve could identify asset price bubbles or do much about them, especially with interest rates (“a blunt tool” for that purpose, as Mr. Bernanke said). Yet in both of their cases, we know that they were warned of the housing bubble by (a precious few) colleagues. The economist Dean Baker was showing me graphs of home prices diverging from rental prices in a novel and scary pattern back in 2002!
Bank regulator: Here’s something I learned during my stint at the White House during the financial crisis. To bail out banks invokes deep moral hazard, which makes such moves both deservedly unpopular and bad economics (“moral hazard” exists when an economic actor or institution doesn’t face the cost of its actions, like when you bail out a bank that screwed up). But given the global interconnectedness of financial institutions — and connectedness, not size, is the relevant and threatening factor here — the Fed (and Congress) could easily be back in the bailout business unless proactive steps are taken.
In other words, avoiding moral hazard is a luxury you often don’t have once the implosion has begun. So your best move is to avoid it.
Consumer ally: The next Fed chief must learn to love and work closely with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. I’d recommend a standing lunch date with Richard Cordray, the agency’s first director and someone with sharp antennae for credit irregularities that can serve as early warnings for bubbles.
Macro-manager: This is huge, of course, and the challenges here are well known. Mr. Bernanke, aided by Ms. Yellen, has been consistently strong in using both traditional interest rate policy and creative asset purchasing and forward guidance methods in the pursuit of closing persistent output gaps.
Posted by Mass | Sun Sep 15, 2013, 08:48 PM (2 replies)
It is just that, in fiery discussions about policies, too often the humans who are the subjects of these discussions are summarily dismissed if they do not help the arguments.
Two million refugees from Syria. The figure was announced last week and easily missed amid headlines about the Tomahawks that would or would not be fired at targets dear to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Refugees are less dramatic than cruise missiles, less dramatic even than wrangling about a Security Council resolution on Syria's poison-gas arsenal.
Yet the exodus from the civil war-torn country represents a humanitarian crisis no less stark, a moral demand no less pressing, than the use of chemical weapons. It is a crisis which has policy responses that do not involve bombs, that do not require a debate about America and Europe re-entering the Middle East's wars. They do, however, demand spending money and a willingness to take in refugees on a new and much larger scale. In the end, these costs pale in comparison to the costs of war.
Two million refugees, in truth, is a careful understatement. It's the number of Syrians who have registered as refugees with the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR), or whom the UNHCR has counted as "awaiting registration." The agency only uses the term refugee for people who left their country. It acknowledges its tally may be low. For instance, UNHCR lists 730,00 Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The Lebanese government's estimate is 1 million. And then, to the refugee figures, add 4.25 million Syrians described by the United Nations as "displaced"—people who have fled their homes but are still inside Syria. Let's make this simpler: Think of a country, your own country perhaps, and then think about more than a quarter of its people uprooted by civil war to another town or another country.
None of this will make much difference to those Americans who see America's interests and moral obligations as stopping at the shore. Those with a more progressive view of the world could pause in the debate about military invention in Syria. If you oppose the use of arms, surely providing aid and refugee visas on a new scale are a necessary alternative. If you support the use of force, surely much larger humanitarian intervention must complement it.
Posted by Mass | Fri Sep 13, 2013, 12:46 PM (2 replies)
Frankly, even with the lack of respect I have for Bachman, this was still below my expectations.
Here's your exceptionalism, on full display in living color, in a foreign country:
Tea party-backed Representatives Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Steve King (R-IA) on Saturday held a press conference in Egypt to thank the country’s military for overthrowing the elected government, and at one point even seemed to suggest that the Muslim Brotherhood had been behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
My God. That is so bad that if I were in Egypt I'd be compelled to apologize to every Egyptian I saw on the street for the stunning, over-the-top condescension of these morons.
Jon Stewart handled this the only way possible:
Posted by Mass | Thu Sep 12, 2013, 02:09 PM (0 replies)
Remember the People's Pledge, the one that Brown and Warren signed, and later on Lynch and Markey.
Well, yesterday, with the type of consistency that is the hallmark of the Republican Party, the NRSC attacks Markey for not adhering to the pact that their candidate rejected.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) put out a release today screaming that “Ed Markey is the first to violate the “People’s Pledge.”" That would be the pledge that is not in effect, because Gabriel Gomez refused to sign it.
I mean, wow.
The NRSC is calling Markey out over a report that NextGen, an environmental advocacy group—pardon me, a “radical extremist army” according to the NRSC—plans to spend money on behalf of Markey. Which, aside from the fact that it hasn’t actually happened, would not technically be a violation, because Markey’s obligation (since he cannot, by law, actually stop outside groups from spending) would be to contribute to charity an amount equal to half of whatever NextGen ends up spending, once the group actually spends it—all of which would of course be predicated upon there being an actual agreement in place to violate, which there is not because Gomez refused to sign it.
And even if we granted NRSC all of this, and agreed that “violate the People’s Pledge” means “have an outside group announce plans to spend money on your behalf in what would be a violation of the People’s Pledge if the candidates had actually entered into such an agreement,” it would still be a lie to say that Ed Markey is the first to violate the pledge.
That’s because Gomez has already violated it.
As Paul McMorrow writes over at CommonWealth, the Massachusetts Republican Party—an outside group under the People’s Pledge—has spent more than $300,000 on ads currently running; you’ll notice they disclose at the end that they are paid for by the MassGOP.
So what we have here is a group that is in the active process of “violating the pledge” on behalf of the candidate who prevented the pledge from being in effect, berating the other candidate for allegedly violating the pledge.
Which is why my very, very favorite part of the NRSC release is the last sentence:
Ed Markey is a walking, talking, breathing embodiment of Washington hypocrisy
(PS. The NRSC is located in Washington.)
Posted by Mass | Fri May 24, 2013, 09:37 AM (0 replies)
Shame on Vitter, but also shame on every single Senator, Democratic or Republican, as nobody objected to this amendment.
Probably to be archived in the series "poor people do not vote" and neither do felons, so why should we care?
During Wednesday’s debate on the Farm Bill, the Senate unanimously agreed to ban certain ex-convicts from receiving food assistance for life.
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) claimed his amendment would prevent “murderers, rapists, and pedophiles” from ever receiving food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Under this amendment, anyone convicted for a violent crime or sexual assault will be shut out of the program for life, even if they served their time or committed the crime long ago. Their families will also suffer, as their share of SNAP benefits will exclude the convicted family member.
As Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities notes, these sentences have historically been handed down to more minorities than white offenders:
Given incarceration patterns in the United States, the amendment would have a skewed racial impact. Poor elderly African Americans convicted of a single crime decades ago by segregated Southern juries would be among those hit. The amendment essentially says that rehabilitation doesn’t matter and violates basic norms of criminal justice.
So, thank you so much, senators.
More war on poor people...
Posted by Mass | Thu May 23, 2013, 06:41 PM (1 replies)
Who would have thought that I would regret Scott Brown (as a Republican candidate)?
He was bad, but far from the level of whining and stupidity than Gomez is showing, and frankly this is telling a lot about Gomez. After having whined about ads that were presenting his own positions accurately, he now has one calling Markey dirty for some supposed attacks.
It is bad enough that the Boston Globe feels compelled to get out of their usual "impartiality to call out Gomez.
Gomez releases new ad calling his opponent “dirty Ed Markey”
Republican Senate candidate Gabriel E. Gomez is releasing a new television ad that labels his Democratic opponent, Representative Edward J. Markey, “dirty Ed Markey.”
“Negative ads from dirty Ed Markey, smearing Gabriel Gomez, comparing him to bin Laden,” a narrator says in the ad, which shows clips of two of Markey’s ads attacking Gomez. “Now, Markey actually blames Gomez for the Newtown shooting. Disgusting. Thirty-seven years in Congress. Dirty Ed Markey.”
The ad, which will begin running statewide Wednesday, then urges voters to “try something new…Gabriel Gomez, businessman, Navy pilot, Navy SEAL.”
Despite what the ad says, Markey has not blamed Gomez for the Newtown shooting. Markey has released an ad that highlights Gomez’s opposition to an assault weapons ban and to limits on high-capacity magazines, “like the ones used in the Newtown school shooting.”
This election cannot finish quickly enough.
Posted by Mass | Tue May 21, 2013, 09:25 PM (8 replies)
Obviously, the video (at the link) does not blame Gomez for Newtown any more than a previous video linked him to OBL, but, when you do not have any good answer, start whining.
Not a good week for Gomez, who is still behind in every single poll including his own, has been called out for a tax scam, for having stiffed a couple companies working for him (an assessor and a plumber. He apparently paid the assessor today, 8 years later).
Posted by Mass | Fri May 17, 2013, 03:42 PM (3 replies)