Black Republicans & The “Plantation”

by TKOEd • Monday, Dec 10, 2012 • no responses - be the first

Why do Black GOPers like Herman Cain & Shirley Husar like to refer to Black Democrats as being on the “Democratic plantation” or in “bondage” to Democrats? Why do they always seem to do when addressing white Republicans? And why are they surprised after making such statements that a Black person might call them a “sell-out” or some variation?

I don’t know about you, but when you say that I’m a slave to the Democrats I suddenly don’t think very highly of you. And when you do it while addressing nearly all white audiences I’m become extremely skeptical of your motives. Because you’re clearly not trying to convince me to come over to your side. You’re not even talking to me. Usually you’re in the middle of giving advice to white GOPers about how they should “recruit” Black folks.

Herman Cain described himself as a “modern-day Harriet Tubman.” Shirley Husar (who? exactly) said:

It is time to lay down the tracks of a new “underground railroad,” a movement to help a people who are in bondage to the Democratic Party find hope and encouragement in the GOP…

These self-styled Harriet Tubmans didn’t do so well this year, Obama won 93% of the Black vote. Damn those stubborn coloreds. They really love their massa.

We have values that resonate strongly with GOP values – love of family, the desire to succeed, hatred of cronyism and concentrated power, which are often used against us.

Let’s break this down a bit.

Love of Family: The GOP is generally considered the party of “family values”, but are they really? The Family & Medical Leave Act passed, but nearly all who voted against it were Republicans. They’re anti-gay marriage. They’ve been anti-programs like S-CHIP. They’re anti-family planning.They voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Desire to Succeed: I’m not sure what this is referring to specifically, but I’m assuming it has something to do with work. GOPers are often cited as being on the side of “small business”, but who are they really in the pockets of? Big Business. Who are they always working for? Rich investors and/or rick business owners. They’re virulently anti-union. Again, they voted against Lily Ledbetter. They are generally the ones voting against raising the minimum wage. All these are ways in which people try to better themselves, and the lives of their families.

Hatred of Cronyism & Concentrated Power: Is she really serious with this one? “Heckuva of job Brownie.” Enron. The Wall Street recession. Iran Contra. Blackwater. As far as concentrated power goes, all I’ve got to say is reproductive rights.

Do these people think we’re stupid? Shirley says no:

Blacks and Latinos aren’t genetically Democratic. We aren’t stupid. We aren’t blind.

You’re right, Shirley. We’re not stupid. That’s why we aren’t persuaded by charlatans like yourself looking to bamboozle & swindle us. This isn’t about helping Black folks. It’s about selling the white GOP establishment on how you can magically bring minorities to their side, by telling them to get off the plantation.

Again you’re right, we’re not stupid, and we’re not blind. As a matter of fact, we see right through you.

 

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Costco, Wall Street & Sacrifice

by TKOEd • Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 • one response - join in

“How Costco Became the Anti-Wal-Mart”:

…not everyone is happy with Costco’s business strategy. Some Wall Street analysts assert that Mr. Sinegal is overly generous not only to Costco’s customers but to its workers as well.

Costco’s average pay, for example, is $17 an hour, 42 percent higher than its fiercest rival, Sam’s Club. And Costco’s health plan makes those at many other retailers look Scroogish. One analyst, Bill Dreher of Deutsche Bank, complained last year that at Costco “it’s better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder.”

God forbid there’s a large company that actually seems to be taking care of its employees. God forbid there’s a company who isn’t squeezing every last bit of life, and productivity out of its employees just so shareholders can make few more bucks. Who are these shareholders? Michael Lind has the answer:

Most publicly traded companies have shares that are bought and sold constantly on behalf of millions of passive investors by mutual funds and other intermediates. Some shareholders invest in a company for the long term; many others allow their shares to be bought and sold quickly by computer software programs. Unable to identify what particular shareholders want, CEOs with the encouragement of Wall Street have treated short-term earnings as a reliable proxy for shareholder value.

That last line is an important one. It’s exactly why Wall Street analyst, Emme Kozloff, thinks Costco CEO, Jim Sinegal:

“…has been too benevolent,”…”He’s right that a happy employee is a productive long-term employee, but he could force employees to pick up a little more of the burden.

Yes. That’s exactly what we need more of in this country, service industry workers picking up more of the burden for companies with billions in revenue. Why? The shareholders. Who could possibly be more important?

You might wonder I’m writing focusing on an article from 2005. I really wanted to highlight the kind of sacrifice that many on Wall Street (and their sycophants in the Senate & House) support. In their eyes, working people need to give up things, gifts the right-wing might call them. Meanwhile, rich people? They don’t have to give up shit. In fact if we don’t give them more shit, they won’t work. They won’t be the “makers” or “job creators” that they are so adamantly convinced they are. Right. If you believe that, I’ve got some pre-election polling that proves Mitt Romney should have won. These people won’t stop “working.” They are the walking, talking epitome of C.R.E.A.M. That picture of Mitt Romney & his boys at Bain with money everywhere? An outtake from that Wu-Tang video. They live to make money, and if some working stiff has to make a few less bucks or have shitty or no insurance so that people like Mitt Romney can make a few more bucks so be it. That’s America, that’s capitalism. Specifically that’s shareholder capitalism as Michael Lind put it. If they really stop working, trust me when I say it’s not big loss, they’re probably too stupid to be in business anyway.

CEOs need to make sure their employees get crumbs, and nothing more. Sometimes even crumbs are just too good for them. The CEOs themselves? They should get the whole slice of bread. Unless they don’t want the crust, that they can feed to the dogs strapped to the roof of their cars. This is the world according to Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner & Wall Street “analysts.” They cry, and moan about having to pay a few percentage points more of marginal income tax, but they support sacrifice from everyone else. Fuck that. Yes they will whine heavily about the tax increase, but then they’ll remember they’re rich & get over it. They’ll go back to making up more nonsensical ways to make money. Some other way to scam a whole bunch of people, and then scurry away with a nice severance package before any realizes the great damage that’s been done.

Jim Sinegal said he was trying to have a sustainable company that will be around for many decades to come, but the “Street” doesn’t want to hear that:

On Wall Street, they’re in the business of making money between now and next Thursday,” he said. “I don’t say that with any bitterness, but we can’t take that view. We want to build a company that will still be here 50 and 60 years from now.”

Bingo. I could not agree more. These people don’t do “in 10 years.” They can barely think past the next financial quarter. Meanwhile shareholder capitalism isn’t great at its main purpose. Again, Michael Lind:

Shareholder value capitalism in the U.S. since the 1980s has even failed in its primary purpose — maximizing the growth in shareholder value. As Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman Business School at the University of Toronto points out in a recent Harvard Business Review article, between 1933 and 1976 shareholders of American companies earned higher returns — 7.6 percent — than they have done in the age of shareholder value from 1977 to 2008 — 5.9 percent a year.

Even that scumbag, Jack Welch thinks it’s stupid:

For his part, Jack Welch has renounced the idea with which he was long associated. In a March 2009 interview with the Financial Times, the former head of GE said: “Strictly speaking, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world.”

So why do persist with this “stupid” idea? Greed. That, and the idea that’s seems to be pervasive among many right-wingers: If you’re not rich, it’s because you don’t deserve to be. Something is wrong with you. Not the way we do thing here, in America. But it’s you, your own fault, and society has had no hand in that. It’s one of the reason they hate Obama, he doesn’t subscribe to that world view. He thinks we’re all in this together. He thinks Americans should look out for one another. Especially those who are the worst off & the able to do it for themselves. They don’t like that one bit. Don’t you know that’s socialism? Bailing out the financial industry? Capitalism. Helping the poor, working poor & working class? Socialism. See how that works?

I’m ready for Obama to take the GOP, and all these fat cats (my apologies to actual fat cats) right up to edge the fiscal “cliff“, shove them off & toss a boulder off right after ‘em. Like Wile E. Coyote, they’ll be back, but this will be more than worth it.

 

(All emphasis in this post is mine.)

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The Big Story: David Durk, The NYPD & Corruption

by TKOEd • Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012 • no responses - be the first

R.I.P. David Durk.

Frank Serpico. David Durk. One of those names you almost certainly know. One man was played by someone who now a big time movie star. The other man had a minor character loosely based on him with a different name in the same film. David Durk doesn’t even have his own Wikipedia page.

Frank Serpico is alive. David Durk is dead. This is not an obit to Mr. Durk though, the NY Times has done a far better job than I ever could.

We probably never hear of Frank Serpico if not for David Durk. Their stories are intertwined, and you can run a direct line from Serpico/Durk to Adrian Schoolcraft, a man who’s technically still a cop, but you wouldn’t know it from the way he’s been treated. The stories of these three men, all great cops, should serve as an inspiration to all current, and future police officers. Instead the NYPD attempts to push them into the dustbin of history, and tries to minimize their achievements, and their (corroborated) accusations.

The NYPD has a corruption problem. Their PR guy will tell you that things are 10 times better than they were when Serpico was a cop. Does it even matter though? How much of that is through their own efforts, and how much of that is the decline of mob influence in NYC? The NYPD seems so eager to pat itself on the back instead of acknowledging that they have a shit ton of work to do. Abner Louima, Sean Bell, Ramarley Graham. You know the names. You know what happened. And I’m telling you that the way the city, and the NYPD handled the findings of the Knapp Commission, which never happens if not for the persistence, and the insistence of Serpico & Durk, is why we have today’s NYPD. A police force of quotas, harassment, and racism.

…the fallout was minimal. Dozens of officers were prosecuted, but no senior police or city officials were charged.

A few people were cast out, and they called it a day. Ray Kelly was a police officer during those days. I wonder if he’s ever been asked about that era. Was he on the take? He sure does like to minimize police misconduct. How can we expect the NYPD to do their job in a fair, honest, and transparent way when they’ve never tackled the ghosts of the 60s & 70s? How many corrupt cops went on to become senior officers? How many are in the top brass today? We’ll probably never know. What we do know that is that the “blue wall” is as strong as ever. Adrian Schoolcraft’s apt was invaded by cops, and he was tossed in a mental ward by those same cops. Unlawful imprisonment anyone? Of course we’ve seen no criminal charges against any of the officers involved in these Gestapo tactics. I now feel vindicated every time I cross the street to avoid walking next to or crossing paths with a cop. If they can do this shit to another cop bet money they can, and HAVE done it a civilian.

I’ve always said that the police should be held to a higher standard than the average person, but this country seems to completely disagree with me. All over America cops are held to lower standards. Shoot a Black man in the back while he’s face down being handcuffed by another cop? Say you were scared, and you were reaching for your, far lighter, Taser. No one will even ask why you were reaching for your Taser in the 1st place. After the judge gives you double credit for time served you’ll end up serving a year in prison total. Now try, and imagine an average white man who’s not a police officer using any or all of that as an excuse. Now do it for the average Black man. I can’t see either of them getting just a year. Add some “fear”, and make ‘em both cops & it’s likely that they’re acquitted, and continue to be police officers.

All a cop has to do is say they were scared, and they’ll have people lining up to defend them. “You don’t know what it’s like to be a cop.” “Their job is dangerous.” There are around 800,000 law enforcement officers in the U.S. (including state & federal officers). In 2010 160 of them were murdered. That’s a rate of .0002. In 2005 about 57,600 cops were assaulted. A rate of .072. Out of that number, about 15,800 were injured. A rate of .0197. My intent is not to minimize police shootings, and assaults, but show that this fear that cops regularly invoke, usually after they’ve shot another unarmed person, is unsubstantiated by the stats. Most cops probably don’t know another officer who’s even been assaulted let alone killed. So what are they so afraid of? The answer seems to be be Black & Latino men. Since we’re the ones that usually end up on the wrong end of a cops glock.

Despite all the talk about “community policing” Ray Kelly has been very confrontational when confronted with just about any criticism of the NYPD. This unwillingness to criticize the self is at the heart the NYPD’s problems, especially with regard to Blacks, and Latinos. When it comes to unwarranted defensiveness, only self-aggrandizing millionaires, and billionaires are in competition. 16 officers get arraigned for ticket fixing, 100s show up in protest. It’s someone else’s fault. They were “just following orders.” Guess what? I believe them. I believe they were just following orders when they stopped, and frisked 685,724 people (87% of them Black & Latino) last year. I also believe that they were just following orders when they stop and frisked 25% less people in the 2nd quarter of this year than last. This brings me back to Ray Kelly, and other cops who were “on the job” during the years the NYPD was nearly completely overrun by corruption. Where are many of these men now? David Durk said during a formal lecture at the police academy he was told to always carry a SASE with him in case he got a bribe. That way he could immediately mail it to himself without fear it would be found later. This is what they were telling recruits! But I’m supposed to believe that the overwhelming majority of corrupt cops who never got any  disciplinary action just suddenly became good cops? Maybe for a little while, ’til the cameras & the reporters & investigators went away, but not for long. Until society stops treating cops as above the law, and infallible we will continue to see corruption, racism & violence flowing from the NYPD.

In 1970 Frank Serpico said:

the atmosphere does not yet exist in which an honest police officer can act without fear of ridicule or reprisal from fellow officers.

That’s still the case. Just like in the 60′s, and 70′s today’s cops are “just following orders.”

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Quote Of The Day: Rush Limbaugh

by TKOEd • Friday, Nov 9, 2012 • no responses - be the first

Via:

Let me take you back to the Republican convention. We had Suzanne Martinez, female Hispanic governor, New Mexico. We had Condoleezza Rice, African-American, former secretary of state.  Both of those people imminently qualified, terrifically achieved… We had Marco Rubio. We had a parade of minorities who have become successful Americans… Now, why didn’t that work, folks? 

I am going to leave that right there for you. Let your big beautiful brain stew on that for a little bit.

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A Few Words On Today’s Jobs Report

by TKOEd • Friday, Nov 2, 2012 • no responses - be the first

Mostly from brilliant former Veep economist Jared Bernstein, bold mine:

Well, the big jobs report is out showing payrolls grew by a more-than-expected 171,000 last month and the unemployment rate ticked  up slightly, as expected, to 7.9%.  Job growth for the prior two months was revised up by 84,000, and the average monthly pace of job growth over the past four months–a useful way of smoothing out monthly noise in the data–is 173,000, a sharp acceleration over the second quarter’s pace of 67,000 per month (see figure).

The uptick in unemployment was expected after September’s 0.3 percentage point drop, but a few things are worth noting.  First, the 0.1 point increase is statistically indistinguishable from no change at all–the unemployment rate has to rise or fall about 0.2 points to be significant.  At 7.9%, the jobless rate is down significantly–by one full point–from its rate one year ago.  Second, one reason for the slight uptick was more people coming into the labor market seeking work.  We’ll need to see how this development evolves in coming months, but we may be seeing early signs of an improving job market pulling more job seekers in from the sidelines.

All told, given the acceleration in payroll growth, the upward revisions to prior months payroll gains, the trend decline in unemployment, and the pick-up in labor force participation, today’s report is generally pointing to job market that’s showing signs of improvement.

 So basically what we have here is that a decent amount of people are feeling good enough about the economy that they’ve started looking for jobs again. Furthermore, as Berstein notes, the last quarter saw a 3-fold improvement in jobs added over the previous quarter. Obviously, that’s a huge increase. We’re on the right path, and we need to stay on it. Romney, and Ryan have nothing to offer, but reheated Republican rhetoric on taxes. A teevee dinner, if you will, of trick-me now economics. Pardon, that’s trickle-down. I’m sure you’ll pardon the my confusion. 20% across the board tax reductions, Medicare as a voucher system, and promises of 12 million new  jobs? All with no specifics? Sounds like a sketchy deal all right.
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5 @ 5: War On Drugs – Man Dies Of Allergic Reaction In Police Custody

by TKOEd • Monday, Oct 22, 2012 • no responses - be the first

Apparently some people (Wall Street insiders) it’s wrong to be pissed off at Wall Street, and Goldman in particular because the insiders already know these companies screw their clients

I don’t care if you’re an Atheist. Just don’t be an asshole:

The War On Drugs Claims Another Victim

Solitary confinement is cruel, and usual punishment. Congress should ban it, but they won’t because Americans don’t give a fuck about “criminals.”:

Is Pre-K where income inequality is born? I say no fucking way. It has an impact, but income inequality is about a lot things. Low capital gains tax rates, for one. I don’t think it’s very useful to try & tackle income inequality by looking for a root cause. There is no single thing. Now if you want to talk the achievement gap & Pre-K, I’m all ears.

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