Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘GOP’ Category

Rebecca Solnit comments on class warfare in the US

leave a comment »

Rebecca Solnit comments in Facebook on that post. (And at the link you can see additional comments she made):

My friend Nancy posted this and I said Please Lord, just one movie in which city folk represent decency and sanity and country folk are wacked to hell and back (besides Cold Comfort Farm, which is great, but English and from the 1930s). To which I might add the old conceit in which the city represents decadence and the countryside wholesomeness has bedeviled the English-speaking world for several centuries and is now a fixture and a curse upon American politics, the right having convinced rural people that, first, they are the wholesome Real Americans and second that we city folk despise and hate them.

Hate them for their wholesome traditional ways, rather than maybe we don’t hate them or maybe we hate intolerance and racism and the repression that hides abuse of all kinds (and maybe not a few city people are refugees from those idyllic-looking rural places that want to kill queer people, unsubmissive women, immigrants, and dissenters). I will give it to Barbara Kingsolver’s new book Demon Copperfield, in that it portrays a lot of violence, cruelty, trapped ness, and addiction in rural America. Aunt June who went to Knoxville is maybe the strongest moral force in the book and the most cleareyed character. Thanks to Susan for reminding me that Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is another portrait of rural America as unwholesome, and so is Jane Smiley’s retelling of King Lear in A Thousand Acres. What other classics of the unwholesome countryside are there? I think Thomas Hardy straddles the divide, loving some things and recognizing the cruelty and repression of others.

I grew up in a suburban cul-de-sac, the last subdivision before the country, on the edge of dairy farms. Our street was a spur off a long street, and I and learned to ride (western, of course) at the end of the long street become dirt road dead-ending in a horse pasture. I’ve spent many of the best days of my life in rural and wild places, and I admire the skill and toughness of people who work the land and tend it, but it’s probably assumed that since I’m urban, left, and environmental I hate rural people. And it’s true that I grew up among middle-class white people who mocked and ridiculed Dolly Parton and country music and southern accents, but I haven’t heard that nastiness in a long while.

I got an essay out of it years ago, titled “One Nation Under Elvis”: “The story that racism belongs to poor people in the South is a little too easy, though. Just as not everybody up here, geographically and economically, is on the right side of the line, so not everyone down there is on the wrong side. But the story allows middle-class people to hate poor people in general while claiming to be on the side of truth, justice, and everything else good.” In other words, a vile class war pretends to be an anti-racist war. I’ve met rich urban/northern racists and poor southern/rural antiracists. Categories are leaky.

To all this I’ll add a few paragraphs from this great column from four years ago by Paul Waldman (but please note that just as far from all conservatives/MAGA nuts are rural, so not all rural people are conservatives/MAGA nuts). Waldman writes: In the endless search for the magic key that Democrats can use to unlock the hearts of white people who vote Republican, the hot new candidate is “respect.” If only they cast off their snooty liberal elitism and show respect to people who voted for Donald Trump, Democrats can win them over and take back Congress and the White House.

The assumption is that if Democrats simply choose to deploy this powerful tool of respect, then minds will be changed and votes will follow. This belief, widespread though it may be, is stunningly naive. It ignores decades of history and everything about our current political environment. There’s almost nothing more foolish Democrats could do than follow that advice.

Before we proceed, let me be clear about what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that the desire for respect isn’t real. As a voter says in “The Great Revolt,” a new book by conservative journalist Salena Zito and Republican operative Brad Todd, “One of the things I really don’t get about the Democratic Party or the news media is the lack of respect they give to people who work hard all of their lives to get themselves out of the hole.”

But the mistake is to ignore where the belief in Democratic disrespect actually comes from and to assume that Democrats have it in their power to banish it.

It doesn’t come from the policies advocated by the Democratic Party, and it doesn’t come from the things Democratic politicians say. Where does it come from? An entire industry that’s devoted to convincing white people that liberal elitists look down on them.

It’s more than an industry, actually; it’s an industry, plus a political movement. The right has a gigantic media apparatus that is devoted to convincing people that liberals disrespect them, plus a political party whose leaders all understand that that idea is key to their political project and so join in the chorus at every opportunity. https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/why-democrats-cant…/

[I’d also add that the Democrats reliably advocate for legislation–access to healthcare, education, social services, clean water, etc.– that would benefit anyone poor or struggling and most people who are rural (if not big farming and ranching interests), but this is often ignored by the mainstream media and the right just plies them with the red meat of ideological issues, with the help of conservative Christian churches obsessing about abortion, sexuality, “traditional families” aka patriarchal repression, and lately critical race theory, trans kids, and other us-vs.-them frames.]

p.s. Eric Michael Garcia, the author of this genius tweet, is the author of a book on autism titled We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation. Link in comments. [Comments here – LG]

Written by Leisureguy

27 November 2022 at 10:57 am

The Town That Went Feral

leave a comment »

In the New Republic Patrick Blanchfield reviews a brief history of an effort to put Libertarianism into practice in Grafton NH. (Like all previous attempts, it was an utter failure, and for the same reason: a reliance on mere logic, with no consideration given to experience — and as Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. observed, “The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.”

The review begins:

In its public-education campaigns, the U.S. National Park Service stresses an important distinction: If you find yourself being attacked by a brown or grizzly bear, YES, DO PLAY DEAD. Spread your arms and legs and cling to the ground with all your might, facing downward; after a few attempts to flip you over (no one said this would be easy), the bear will, most likely, leave. By contrast, if you find yourself being attacked by a black bear, NO, DO NOT PLAY DEAD. You must either flee or, if that’s not an option, fight it off, curved claws and 700 psi-jaws and all.

But don’t worry—it almost never comes to this. As one park service PSA noted this summer, bears “usually just want to be left alone. Don’t we all?” In other words, if you encounter a black bear, try to look big, back slowly away, and trust in the creature’s inner libertarian. Unless, that is, the bear in question hails from certain wilds of western New Hampshire. Because, as Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling’s new book suggests, that unfortunate animal may have a far more aggressive disposition, and relate to libertarianism first and foremost as a flavor of human cuisine.

Hongoltz-Hetling is an accomplished journalist based in Vermont, a Pulitzer nominee and George Polk Award winner. A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear: The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town (and Some Bears) sees him traversing rural New England as he reconstructs a remarkable, and remarkably strange, episode in recent history. This is the so-called Free Town Project, a venture wherein a group of libertarian activists attempted to take over a tiny New Hampshire town, Grafton, and transform it into a haven for libertarian ideals—part social experiment, part beacon to the faithful, Galt’s Gulch meets the New Jerusalem. These people had found one another largely over the internet, posting manifestos and engaging in utopian daydreaming on online message boards. While their various platforms and bugbears were inevitably idiosyncratic, certain beliefs united them: that the radical freedom of markets and the marketplace of ideas was an unalloyed good; that “statism” in the form of government interference (above all, taxes) was irredeemably bad. Left alone, they believed, free individuals would thrive and self-regulate, thanks to the sheer force of “logic,” “reason,” and efficiency. For inspirations, they drew upon precedents from fiction (Ayn Rand loomed large) as well as from real life, most notably a series of micro-nation projects ventured in the Pacific and Caribbean during the 1970s and 1980s.

None of those micro-nations, it should be observed, panned out, and things in New Hampshire don’t bode well either—especially when the humans collide with a newly brazen population of bears, themselves just “working to create their own utopia,” property lines and market logic be damned. The resulting narrative is simultaneously hilarious, poignant, and deeply unsettling. Sigmund Freud once described the value of civilization, with all its “discontents,” as a compromise product, the best that can be expected from mitigating human vulnerability to “indifferent nature” on one hand and our vulnerability to one another on the other. Hongoltz-Hetling presents, in microcosm, a case study in how a politics that fetishizes the pursuit of “freedom,” both individual and economic, is in fact a recipe for impoverishment and supercharged vulnerability on both fronts at once. In a United States wracked by virus, mounting climate change, and ruthless corporate pillaging and governmental deregulation, the lessons from one tiny New Hampshire town are stark indeed.


.
“In a country known for fussy states with streaks of independence,” Hongoltz-Hetling observes, “New Hampshire is among the fussiest and the streakiest.” New Hampshire is, after all, the Live Free or Die state, imposing neither an income nor a sales tax, and boasting, among other things, the highest per capita rate of machine gun ownership. In the case of Grafton, the history of Living Free—so to speak—has deep roots. The town’s Colonial-era settlers started out by ignoring “centuries of traditional Abenaki law by purchasing land from founding father John Hancock and other speculators.” Next, they ran off Royalist law enforcement, come to collect lumber for the king, and soon discovered their most enduring pursuit: the avoidance of taxes. As early as 1777, Grafton’s citizens were asking their government to be spared taxes and, when they were not, just stopped paying them.

Nearly two and a half centuries later, Grafton has become something of a magnet for seekers and quirky types, from adherents of the Unification Church of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon to hippie burnouts and more. Particularly important for the story is one John Babiarz, a software designer with a Krusty the Klown laugh, who decamped from Big-Government-Friendly Connecticut in the 1990s to homestead in New Hampshire with his equally freedom-loving wife, Rosalie. Entering a sylvan world that was, Hongoltz-Hetling writes, “almost as if they had driven through a time warp and into New England’s revolutionary days, when freedom outweighed fealty and trees outnumbered taxes,” the two built a new life for themselves, with John eventually coming to head Grafton’s volunteer fire department (which he describes as a “mutual aid” venture) and running for governor on the libertarian ticket.

Although John’s bids for high office failed, his ambitions remained undimmed, and in 2004 he and Rosalie connected with . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

26 November 2022 at 6:15 pm

Using guns to kill debate — and democracy

leave a comment »

The use of openly displayed firearms to intimidate and silence is particularly a problem in the US, which has more guns in civilian hands than it has civilians. Mike McIntire reports in the NY Times (no paywall):

Across the country, openly carrying a gun in public is no longer just an exercise in self-defense — increasingly it is a soapbox for elevating one’s voice and, just as often, quieting someone else’s.

This month, armed protesters appeared outside an elections center in Phoenix, hurling baseless accusations that the election for governor had been stolen from the Republican, Kari Lake. In October, Proud Boys with guns joined a rally in Nashville where conservative lawmakers spoke against transgender medical treatments for minors.

In June, armed demonstrations around the United States amounted to nearly one a day. A group led by a former Republican state legislator protested a gay pride event in a public park in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Men with guns interrupted a Juneteenth festival in Franklin, Tenn., handing out fliers claiming that white people were being replaced. Among the others were rallies in support of gun rights in Delaware and abortion rights in Georgia.

Whether at the local library, in a park or on Main Street, most of these incidents happen where Republicans have fought to expand the ability to bear arms in public, a movement bolstered by a recent Supreme Court ruling on the right to carry firearms outside the home. The loosening of limits has occurred as violent political rhetoric rises and the police in some places fear bloodshed among an armed populace on a hair trigger.

But the effects of more guns in public spaces have not been evenly felt. A partisan divide — with Democrats largely eschewing firearms and Republicans embracing them — has warped civic discourse. Deploying the Second Amendment in service of the First has become a way to buttress a policy argument, a sort of silent, if intimidating, bullhorn.

“It’s disappointing we’ve gotten to that state in our country,” said Kevin Thompson, executive director of the Museum of Science & History in Memphis, Tenn., where armed protesters led to the cancellation of an L.G.B.T.Q. event in September. “What I saw was a group of folks who did not want to engage in any sort of dialogue and just wanted to impose their belief.”

A New York Times analysis of more than 700 armed demonstrations found that, at about 77 percent of them, people openly carrying guns represented right-wing views, such as opposition to L.G.B.T.Q. rights and abortion access, hostility to racial justice rallies and support for former President Donald J. Trump’s lie of winning the 2020 election.

The records, from January 2020 to last week, were compiled by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, a nonprofit that tracks political violence around the world. The Times also interviewed witnesses to other, smaller-scale incidents not captured by the data, including encounters with armed people at indoor public meetings.

Anti-government militias and right-wing culture warriors like the Proud Boys attended a majority of the protests, the data showed. Violence broke out at more than 100 events and often involved fisticuffs with opposing groups, including left-wing activists such as antifa.

Republican politicians are generally more tolerant of openly armed supporters than are Democrats, who are more likely to be on the opposing side of people with guns, the records suggest. In July, for example, men wearing sidearms confronted Beto O’Rourke, then the Democratic candidate for Texas governor, at a campaign stop in Whitesboro and warned that he was “not welcome in this town.”

Republican officials or candidates appeared at 32 protests where they were on the same side as those with guns.  . .

Continue reading. (no paywall)

Written by Leisureguy

26 November 2022 at 4:01 pm

China’s gold stockpiling is dollar warning sign

leave a comment »

I’m wondering whether this time the GOP will actually force the US to default on its debt. Certainly the GOP has flirted with that in the past, and today more than ever before the GOP has aligned itself with Russia and seems inclined to act as Putin wants. The article by David Troy I just blogged talks about this, and now it looks like China is expecting it to happen. William Pesek reports in Asia Times:

One of the worst-kept secrets in global central banking is the extent to which Chinese officials are swapping dollars for gold.

Governor Yi Gang’s team at the People’s Bank of China isn’t admitting as much. The PBOC doesn’t have to, though, given the clear policy trajectory Chinese leader Xi Jinping has pursued in recent years: internationalizing of the yuan as the top rival to the dollar.

Xi’s position hasn’t changed so much as other governments are catching on that trust is waning in the global reserve currency and an alternative to the dollar is badly needed.

Particularly as the US national debt zooms past $30 trillion, inflation is at 40-year highs, the Federal Reserve is pushing the biggest economy into recession and a band of firebrand Republicans threatens to play politics with Washington’s debt limit again.

Not surprisingly, central banks that once hoarded dollars are buying gold at the fastest clip on record. In the July-September quarter, central banks more than quadrupled gold purchases from a year earlier — adding nearly a net 400 tonnes to already sizable stockpiles.

These figures from the World Gold Council are no aberration. The year-to-date flurry of gold buying already well surpasses any 12-month period since 1967. This has traders guessing who the real whales are here.

Punters doing the math can confirm that about 90 tonnes worth of purchases can be traced to Turkey (31.2 tonnes), Uzbekistan (26.1 tonnes), India (17.5 tonnes) and other developing nations. The other 300 tonnes, it’s widely assumed, bear Chinese fingerprints.

Xi’s ambitions to . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2022 at 6:28 pm

AOC Calls Out Lauren Boebert For Her ‘Thoughts And Prayers’ Tweet After Colorado LGBTQ+ Club Shooting

leave a comment »

Alan Herrera reports in Comic Sands:

New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called out Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert for “elevating anti-LGBTQ hate rhetoric” after Boebert published a tweet in which she offered “prayers” to the victims of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs.

Boebert had earlier called the shooting—which resulted in five deaths and at least 25 injuries—”absolutely awful” and offered “prayers” to the victims and their families, adding:

“This lawless violence needs to end quickly.”

Ocasio-Cortez responded shortly afterward and noted that Boebert’s tweet rings rather hollow considering she has “played a major role in elevating anti-LGBTQ+ hate rhetoric and anti-trans lies.”

Ocasio-Cortez added that Boebert has used her time in Congress to block “even the most common sense gun safety laws,” concluding:

“You don’t get to ‘thoughts and prayers’ your way out of this. Look inward and change.”

Indeed, Boebert is one of the most high-profile anti-LGBTQ+ members of Congress, sharing bigoted opinions about members of the Biden administration and even complaining about the existence of drag bars.

Boebert has previously made headlines for . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

22 November 2022 at 5:18 pm

Source of the problem

leave a comment »

Written by Leisureguy

21 November 2022 at 4:48 pm

Elon Musk is speaking out against government subsidies. Here’s a list of the billions of dollars his businesses have received.

leave a comment »

Jason Lalljee reports in Business Insider:

  • Elon Musk’s companies have received billions in government subsidies over the last two decades.
  • In 2021, Musk has opposed higher taxes for the rich, and said the government shouldn’t control “capital.”
  • He recently said he opposes government subsidies. One of his companies accepted them as recently as April.

The richest person in the world says he doesn’t want any help from the US government, but his companies have actually gotten billions of dollars worth.

Like many other wealthy Americans, Musk has spoken out against a proposed “billionaires’ tax” from Sen. Ron Wyden, writing on Twitter in October that “eventually, they run out of other people’s money, and then they come for you.”

More recently, he spoke out against government subsidies and tax incentives for US businesses. In a recent interview with TIME, he said the government was not a good “steward of capital.”

And at a Wall Street Journal summit this month, Musk said the government should “just delete” all subsidies from the $1 trillion infrastructure bill President Joe Biden recently signed into law. Biden’s bill included $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, which would seem to help one of Musk’s companies, Tesla Motors.

However, over the years, Musk’s companies — Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity — have received billions of dollars from government loans, contracts, tax credits, and subsidies. According to a Los Angeles Times investigation, Musk’s companies had received an estimated $4.9 billion in government support by 2015, and they’ve gotten more since.

Here’s a look at some of the federal and state-level government subsidies that have contributed to building Musk’s empire. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

20 November 2022 at 4:23 pm

Measles outbreak jumps to 7 Ohio daycares, 1 school—all with unvaccinated kids

leave a comment »

An article by Beth Mole in Ars Technica about children paying the price of their parents’ stubborn ignorance. The article begins:

A measles outbreak in Ohio has swiftly expanded, spreading to seven childcare facilities and one school, all with unvaccinated children, according to local health officials. The outbreak highlights the risk of the highly contagious but vaccine-preventable disease mushrooming amid slipping vaccination rates. . .

Continue reading. There’s more.

Later in the article:

Measles, a virus that spreads via coughing, talking, or simply being in the same room with someone, will infect an estimated 90 percent of unvaccinated people who are exposed. Once infected, symptoms generally show up seven to 14 days later, starting with a high fever that can spike above 104° F, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes. A few days after that, a telltale rash develops.

In the decade before a measles vaccine became available, the CDC estimates that the virus infected 3 to 4 million people in the US each year, killing 400 to 500, hospitalizing 48,000, and causing encephalitis (swelling of the brain) in 1,000.

Measles was declared eliminated from the US in 2000, meaning that—thanks to vaccination—it no longer spreads continuously in the country. But it has not been eradicated worldwide and thus is still brought into the country from time to time by travelers, posing a constant threat of outbreaks in any areas with low vaccination rates. If measles is brought in and continues to spread for more than 12 months, the US will lose its measles elimination status, which it nearly lost in 2019.

A highly effective and safe vaccine against measles has been around for decades. Measles is a bad disease to get — not only does it have its own dangers, it does long-term damage to the immune system, a danger unmentioned in the article.

Written by Leisureguy

17 November 2022 at 10:15 am

U.S. Government Quietly Declassifies Post-9/11 Interview With Bush and Cheney

leave a comment »

Jeremy Scahill reports in The Intercept:

ON WEDNESDAY, AS the eyes of the U.S. public were focused on Tuesday’s midterm election results, a U.S. government panel quietly released a newly declassified summary of an Oval Office joint interview conducted with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney about the September 11 attacks. The interview, carried out by members of the 9/11 Commission, was not recorded and the summary document constitutes the only known official record of the meeting. The meeting took place on April 29, 2004.

“The President and Vice President were seated in chairs in front of the fireplace. The President’s demeanor throughout was relaxed. He answered questions without notes,” according to the document drafted by the commission’s Executive Director Philip Zelikow. “The portrait of Washington was over the fireplace, which was flanked by busts of Lincoln and Churchill. Paintings of southwestern landscapes are on the wall. It was a beautiful spring day.” The document, whose declassification was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, is not an official transcript but is described as “a memorandum for the record.” It was authorized for release by the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel.

One of the most striking aspects of the declassified document is the apparent absence of even a glimmer of self-awareness by Bush about the significance of the death and destruction he was unleashing with his global war. The interview took place just as a massive insurgency was erupting in Iraq against a U.S. occupation that would kill thousands of U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. While the document is a rough transcript and summary, Bush comes off as almost childishly simplistic in his insights and analysis. The lack of any sensitive information contained within the document should spur questions as to why it took more than 18 years to be made public.

The declassified document does not contain any groundbreaking revelations, but it does offer some new texture to the internal events immediately following the attacks. That morning, after the first plane had hit the World Trade Center, Bush was reading “The Pet Goat” with second grade students at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota County, Florida. Bush told the commissioners that he had seen the first plane hit but thought it was an accident. “He recalled that he and others thought the building had been hit by a twin engine plane. He remembered thinking, what a terrible pilot.” Soon after the second plane hit the south tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m., chief of staff Andy Card approached Bush as he sat listening to the students reciting more passages from “The Pet Goat” and informed him that it appeared the U.S. was under attack.

The commissioners asked the commander-in-chief why he continued to sit in the classroom. “He was trying to absorb the news. He remembered a child, or someone, reading. He remembered watching the press pool and noticing them . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

13 November 2022 at 4:37 pm

The First Step

leave a comment »

Written by Leisureguy

11 November 2022 at 12:21 pm

Posted in Daily life, GOP, Humor, Politics

Herschel Walker, dismantled

leave a comment »

Written by Leisureguy

31 October 2022 at 9:38 am

Where Will This Political Violence Lead? Look to the 1850s.

leave a comment »

In Politico Joshua Zeitz looks to US history and notes a recurring refrain of political violence from conservative minorities:

Early Friday morning, an intruder broke into the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and bludgeoned her husband, Paul Pelosi, 82, on the head with a hammer.

Details are still scant, but early indications suggest that the suspect, David Depape, is an avid purveyor of anti-Semitic, QAnon and MAGA conspiracy theories. Before the attack, the assailant reportedly shouted, “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?”

This is the United States of America in 2022. A country where political violence — including the threat of political violence — has become a feature, not a bug.

Armed men wearing tactical gear and face coverings outside ballot drop boxes in Arizona. Members of Congress threatening to bring guns onto the House floor — or actually trying to do it. Prominent Republican members of Congress, and their supporters on Fox News, stoking violence against their political opponents by accusing them of being pedophilesterrorists and groomers — of conspiring with “globalists” (read: Jews) to “replace” white people with immigrants.

And of course, January 6, and subsequent efforts by Republicans and conservative media personalities to whitewash or even celebrate it.

Pundits like to take refuge in the saccharine refrain, “this is not who we are,” but historically, this is exactly who we are. Political violence is an endemic feature of American political history. It was foundational to the overthrow of Reconstruction in the 1870s and the maintenance of Jim Crow for decades after.

But today’s events bear uncanny resemblance to an earlier decade — the 1850s, when Southern Democrats, the conservatives of their day, unleashed a torrent of violence against their opponents. It was a decade when an angry and entrenched minority used force to thwart the will of a growing majority, often with the knowing support and even participation of prominent elected officials.

That’s the familiar part of the story. The less appreciated angle is how that growing majority eventually came to accept the proposition that force was a necessary part of politics.

The 1850s were a singularly violent era in American politics. Though politicians both North and South, Whig and Democrat, tried to contain sectional differences over slavery, Southern Democrats and their Northern sympathizers increasingly pushed the envelope, employing coercion and violence to protect and spread the institution of slavery.

It began with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which stripped accused runaways of their right to trial by jury and allowed individual cases to be bumped up from state courts to special federal courts. As an extra incentive to federal commissioners adjudicating such cases, it provided a $10 fee when a defendant was remanded to slavery but only $5 for a finding rendered against the slave owner. Most obnoxious to many Northerners, the law stipulated harsh fines and prison sentences for any citizen who refused to cooperate with or aid federal authorities in the capture of accused fugitives. Southern Democrats enforced the law with brute force, to the horror of Northerners, including many who did not identify as anti-slavery.

The next provocation was the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854, which effectively abrogated the Missouri Compromise and opened the western territories to slavery. It wasn’t enough that Democrats rammed through legislation allowing the citizens of the Kansas and Nebraska territories to institutionalize slavery if they voted to do so in what had long been considered free territory. They then employed coercion and violence to rig the territorial elections that followed.

Though anti-slavery residents far outnumbered pro-slavery residents in Kansas, heavily armed “Border ruffians,” led by Missouri’s Democratic senator David Atchison, stormed the Kansas territory by force, stuffing ballot boxes, assaulting and even killing Free State settlers, in a naked attempt to tilt the scales in favor of slavery. “You know how to protect your own interests,” Atchison cried. “Your rifles will free you from such neighbors. … You will go there, if necessary, with the bayonet and with blood.” He promised, “If we win, we can carry slavery to the Pacific Ocean.”

The violence made it into Congress. When backlash against the Kansas Nebraska Act upended the political balance, driving anti-slavery Democrats and Whigs into the new, anti-slavery Republican party, pro-slavery Democrats responded with rage. In 1856,  . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

30 October 2022 at 11:29 am

Republicans seem ignorant of historical facts

leave a comment »

I do understand that the particular Republican discussed is more likely deceitful instead of (or as well as) ignorant. Heather Cox Richardson:

This week, news broke that as a guest on the right-wing Real America’s Voice media network in 2020, Republican candidate for Michigan governor Tudor Dixon said that the Democrats have planned for decades to topple the United States because they have not gotten over losing the Civil War. According to Dixon, Democrats don’t want anyone to know that white Republicans freed the slaves, and are deliberately strangling “true history.”

Dixon’s was a pure white power rant, but she was amplifying a theme we hear a lot these days: that Democrats were the party of enslavement, Republicans pushed emancipation, and thus the whole idea that Republican policies today are bad for Black Americans is disinformation.

In reality, the parties have switched sides since the 1850s. The shift happened in the 1960s, and it happened over the issue of race. Rather than focusing on party names, it makes more sense to follow two opposed strands of thought, equality and hierarchy, as the constants.

By the 1850s it was indeed primarily Democrats who backed slavery. Elite southern enslavers gradually took over first the Democratic Party, then the southern states, and finally the U.S. government. When it looked in 1854 as if they would take over the entire nation by spreading slavery to the West—thus overwhelming the free states with new slave states—northerners organized to stand against what they called the “Slave Power.”

In the mid-1850s, northerners gradually came together as a new political party. They called themselves “Republicans,” in part to recall Jefferson’s political party, which was also called the Republican party, even though Jefferson by then was claimed by the Democrats.

The meaning of political names changes.

The new Republican Party first stood only for opposing the Slave Power, but by 1859, Lincoln had given it a new ideology: it would stand behind ordinary Americans, rather than the wealthy enslavers, using the government to provide access to resources, rather than simply protecting the wealthy. And that would mean keeping slavery limited to the American South.

Prevented from imposing their will on the U.S. majority, southern Democrats split from their northern Democratic compatriots and tried to start a new nation based on racial slavery. They launched the Civil War.

At first, most Republicans didn’t care much about enslaved Americans, but by 1863 the war had made them come around to the idea that the freedom of Black Americans was crucial to the success of the United States. At Gettysburg in 1863, Lincoln reinforced the principles of the Declaration of Independence and dedicated the nation to a “new birth of freedom.” In 1865 the Republican Congress passed and sent off to the states for ratification the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, ending enslavement except as punishment for crime (we really need to fix that, by the way).

After the war, as southern Democrats organized to reinstate white supremacy in their states, Republicans in 1868 added the Fourteenth Amendment, giving the federal government power to guarantee that states could not deny equal rights to American citizens, and then in 1870 the Fifteenth Amendment, guaranteeing Black men the right to vote. They also established the Department of Justice to defend those rights. But by 1871, white Republicans were backing away from federal protection of Black Americans.

Democrats continued to push white supremacy until 1879, when  . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

29 October 2022 at 8:11 pm

The Pelosis and a Haunted America

leave a comment »

Maureen Dowd has a good column in the NY Times (no paywall):

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I loved putting up twinkling bats and watching midnight monster-chiller-horror movies.

Not this year.

The world is too scary. Politics is too creepy. Horror is too real.

When I was a child, on Oct. 31, my older brother would put on a vinyl LP of Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” that he had carefully cleaned. The eerie music was used by Walt Disney in the segment of his animated masterpiece “Fantasia” about the surreal celebration of evil during the night of the witches’ Sabbath.

Chernabog, the lord of evil and death, wrapped in a dark cape, stands atop a jagged peak, summoning ghosts, witches and vampires to swirl out of the mountain and pay homage. I was so relieved when, at dawn, church bells rang and drove them off.

But now the bad spirits are lurking all around us. They will not be driven off.

America seems haunted by random violence and casual cruelty every day. In New York, subway riders getting pushed onto the tracks and innocent bystanders being shot. Officials across the country facing kidnapping plots, armed visits to their homes, assaults and death threats. No place seems safe, from parks to schools to the supposedly impregnable, guarded Capitol and homes of the wealthy and well known.

In some states, women — and girls — seeking abortions are treated as criminals. In Uvalde, Texas, terrified children frantically calling the police are slaughtered by a teenage psychopath with an AR-15-style rifle as 376 police officers lingered in and around the elementary school waiting for … what?

On Friday, The New York Post broke the news that someone I know, the former Obama official and former New York City Transit president Sarah Feinberg, was sucker-punched in the face in Chelsea by someone walking by in the bike lane.

Now comes news of a maniac breaking into a house in the middle of the night, bludgeoning an 82-year-old man in the head with a hammer while demanding to know where his famous wife was. Perfect Halloween movie fare. Except it actually happened.

One of the most macabre stories to come out of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and democracy, ginned up by Donald Trump, was when the mob roamed the halls, pounding the speaker’s door with bloodcurdling taunts of “Where’s Nancy?”

Speaker Pelosi was not there, thank God. She was huddling with other top officials in a secure bunker, placing call after call for help that was slow to arrive.

Luckily, she was safe, in D.C. with her security detail, when a man broke into her Pacific Heights home in San Francisco early Friday morning. He smashed the patio glass door and attacked her husband, who struggled with the attacker for control of a hammer. In a tingly echo of Jan. 6, the man shouted at Paul Pelosi, “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?” When police arrived, the man said he was “waiting for Nancy.”

Mr. Pelosi, . . .

Continue reading. (no paywall)

Written by Leisureguy

28 October 2022 at 6:40 pm

Ideologues will smother alternative ideas

leave a comment »

Judd Legum writes at Popular Information:

In 2018, Dan Colson, a Professor of English at Emporia State University (ESU) in Kansas, published an article titled, “Teaching Radically with Koch Money.” In the piece, Colson details how he was fighting ESU’s “embrace of right-wing, free-market ‘investments’ in higher education.” Colson shares his experience using a grant from ESU’s “Koch Center for Leadership and Ethics” to “work directly against the Center’s agenda.”

Colson could feel secure writing such a provocative article because he was a tenured professor. Academic tenure is a foundational component of higher education and the free exchange of ideas on campus. It gives professors like Colson the ability to express unpopular opinions without fear of retribution. A tenured professor generally cannot be terminated except under extraordinary circumstances, such as professional misconduct.

But on September 15, Colson was told to report to an off-campus, ESU-owned building. When he arrived, an ESU administrator read from a script. Colson, who had taught at ESU for 11 years, learned he was being terminated.

“It looks like the right-wing fantasy of what happens when you put ideologues in charge of a university,” Colson told Popular Information.

Colson was one of 33 employees, most tenured faculty, that were terminated from ESU last month. The firings were made possible through a state-wide policy change introduced in early 2021 by the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR), the board that oversees Kansas’ public colleges and universities. The other five public universities in Kansas declined to violate the principles of tenure to cut costs.

Gwen Larson, a spokesperson for ESU, told Popular Information that the firing decisions “were not in any way politically motivated” and said that the university “supports the right for free expression by our faculty, staff, and students.” Colson and other faculty members interviewed by Popular Information disagreed.

ESU receives extensive funding from non-profit groups controlled by Charles Koch, the CEO of Koch Industries. For decades, Koch has been a critic of liberal arts education and the tenure system. Still, for nearly two years, ESU did not submit a plan under the KBOR policy to fire tenured faculty.

But then ESU appointed a former Koch Industries executive as its new president. Suddenly, there was a willing executioner. Colson and other faculty who were let go told Popular Information that they believe they were victims of an ideological purge, cast aside for failing to conform to the university’s political agenda.

And what happened at ESU could be a harbinger of what’s to come at colleges and universities across the country.

Why the right-wing hates tenure

In the United States, tenure has long served as a safeguard for academic freedom. Tenure prevents professors from being fired for discussing controversial ideas. And it’s the tenure system that insulates faculty from undue influence by university donors, administrators, and politicians.

That’s exactly why tenure has become a frequent target of right-wing lawmakers and pundits.

In April, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) ” . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

24 October 2022 at 5:27 pm

Racist fears rise again

leave a comment »

Heather Cox Richardson:

Over the weekend, the Maricopa County Elections Department announced that two people, both armed and dressed in tactical gear, stationed themselves near a ballot drop box in Mesa, Arizona. They left when law enforcement officers arrived. At least two voters later filed complaints of voter intimidation, both complaining that they were filmed dropping off ballots. One complained of being accused of “being a mule,” a reference to people who are allegedly paid to gather ballots and stuff drop boxes for Democratic candidates.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates and Recorder Stephen Richer issued a statement: “We are deeply concerned about the safety of individuals who are exercising their constitutional right to vote and who are lawfully taking their early ballot to a drop box…. [V]igilantes outside Maricopa County’s drop boxes are not increasing election integrity. Instead they are leading to voter intimidation complaints.”

The presence of armed vigilantes outside of voting places is a scene directly out of the 1876 “redemption” of the South.

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln and the fledgling Republican Party used the federal government to defend equality before the law and to expand opportunity for ordinary Americans. After the war, they included the newly emancipated southern Black population in their vision of an economy based on legal equality and free labor. When white southerners tried to force their Black neighbors back into submission, Congress passed the 1867 Military Reconstruction Act, establishing the right of Black men to vote for delegates to write new state constitutions.

White southerners who hated the idea that Black men could use the vote to protect themselves terrorized their Black neighbors to keep them from voting. Pretending to be the ghosts of dead Confederate soldiers and calling themselves the Ku Klux Klan, they dressed in white robes with hoods to cover their faces and warned formerly enslaved people not to show up at the polls.

Members of the Ku Klux Klan tried to stop southern Republicans—both Black and white—from voting in favor of the new state constitutions. They killed nearly a thousand Unionists before the 1868 elections, terrorizing their neighbors and undercutting democracy in the South.

Even more effective than Ku Klux Klan ropes and clubs and bullets in the long run, though, were the new tactics to which white Democrats turned when they realized that the violence of the Ku Klux Klan simply hardened Republican resolve. They insisted that government policies promoting black equality were simply a redistribution of wealth as poor men—especially poor Black men—voted for lawmakers who would agree to fund roads and schools and hospitals with tax money. In the postwar South, the people most likely to own taxable property were white men.

Black voting, they insisted, was “Socialism in South Carolina.”

In 1876, “Redeemers” set out to put an end to the southern governments that were elected in systems that allowed Black men to vote. “Rifle clubs” held contests outside Republican political rallies, “Red Shirts” marched with their guns in parades.

Their intimidation worked. Democrats took over the South and created a one-party system that lasted virtually unbroken until 1965. Without the oversight that a healthy multiparty system provides, southern governments became the corrupt tools of a few wealthy men, and the rest of the population fell into a poverty from which it could not escape until the federal government began to invest in the region in the 1930s.

The great triumph of Movement Conservatives in the 1980s was to convince Republican voters to ditch the ideology of their founding and instead embrace the ideology of the old Confederacy.

After World War II, the vast majority of Americans in both parties agreed that the government should protect equality before the law and promote equal access to resources. That system gave us highways, business regulation, world-class universities, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, clean air and water, labor protections, and a narrowing gap between rich and poor.

But the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision opened the way for those opposed to the so-called liberal consensus to claim that white tax dollars were paying for Black benefits. After the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the subsequent shift of Black voters to the Democratic Party, Republicans increasingly accused Black voters of looking for handouts. By 1980, Ronald Reagan made it to the White House with stories of a Black “welfare queen,” promising to put money back in the pockets of taxpayers. After the Democrats passed the 1993 National Voter Registration (Motor Voter) Act, Republicans began to insist that Democrats won only by cheating. They began to rewrite election laws to make it harder for Democratic-leaning populations to vote.

And now, we are in the next stage of that pattern: Republicans are . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

24 October 2022 at 9:52 am

Interesting House race

leave a comment »

The choice here seems easy to me.

Written by Leisureguy

21 October 2022 at 10:04 am

Some progress in government programs

leave a comment »

Heather Cox Richardson writes:

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $1.3 billion program to give debt relief to struggling farmers with qualifying USDA farm loans. Already, more than 13,000 farm borrowers have received about $800 million in assistance with the goal of creating long-term stability to keep them in the profession while also transforming USDA loan servicing. The program, which has access to $3.1 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act, will ultimately help about 36,000 borrowers. The average amount of relief for direct loan borrowers was $52,000, while for those with guaranteed loans the average was about $172,000.

“Through no fault of their own, our nation’s farmers and ranchers have faced incredibly tough circumstances over the last few years,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “The funding included in today’s announcement helps keep our farmers farming and provides a fresh start for producers in challenging positions.”

Republicans who have complained about debt relief for college loan borrowers did not respond to questions from David Pitt of the Associated Press about whether they support help for farm loan borrowers.

The Department of Justice announced today that the Antitrust Division is enforcing our antitrust laws, and that seven directors of corporate boards recently resigned when the DOJ expressed concern that they were violating the prohibition on directors and officers serving simultaneously on the boards of competitors. Congress outlawed this practice under Section 8 of the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter explained, because it “further concentrates power and creates the opportunity to exchange competitively sensitive information and facilitate coordination—all to the detriment of the economy and the American public.”

“Companies, officers, and board members should expect that enforcement of Section 8 will continue to be a priority for the Antitrust Division,” the DOJ said in a statement, and it urged anyone with information about other interlocking directorates “or any other potential violations of the antitrust laws” to contact the DOJ.

Help for farmers and enforcement of antitrust legislation—including permitting those in danger of running afoul of the law to resign before launching legal action—feels much like the reforms of the Progressive Era, when leaders like Theodore Roosevelt tried to claw back a government that worked for industrialists.

That use of the government to restore a level playing field stands in contrast to the news coming from the Republicans. Big news came today from U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter for the Central District of California, who has been overseeing the fight between Trump lawyer John Eastman and the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. Eastman was the author of the memo outlining a plan for stealing the 2020 election. The January 6th committee subpoenaed Eastman’s emails, but Eastman tried to shield a number of them, arguing that they fell under attorney-client privilege.

After reviewing the emails, Carter ruled some of them must be made public because of the “crime-fraud exception,” meaning that they are not privileged because they appear to reveal a crime. Four documents show how the Trump team’s primary goal in filing lawsuits was not to obtain relief, but rather “to delay or otherwise disrupt the January 6 vote.” Those documents, then, further the crime of obstruction.

Crucially, one of the documents concerns . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

20 October 2022 at 12:21 pm

The Conservative Stalwart Challenging the Far-Right Legal Theory That Could Subvert American Democracy

leave a comment »

In the New Yorker, Jane Mayer writes of an effort to preserve democracy in the US. Her article (no paywall) begins:

A powerful new litigant has joined one of the most momentous cases slated to be heard by the Supreme Court this term. The respondents in the case of Moore v. Harper filed a brief today that included a surprising new signatory: J. Michael Luttig, who has been known for years as perhaps the most conservative Republican judge in the country. Now, though, he has joined a coalition of veteran lawyers and nonpartisan government-watchdog groups who are fighting against a far-right Republican election-law challenge—one so radical that critics say it has the potential to end American democracy as we know it.

The former judge is a surprising co-counsel to Neal Katyal, the well-known Supreme Court litigator. Katyal is a counsel of record in the case for several respondents, including Common Cause and the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, that are opposing the far-right groups. The case is scheduled to be heard by the Court on December 7th. Luttig told me that he signed on as Katyal’s co-counsel because he regards Moore v. Harper as “without question the most significant case in the history of our nation for American democracy.” Putting it more colloquially, he said, “Legally, it’s the whole ballgame.”

Having such a well-known conservative former jurist argue against the election-law challenge may carry some weight with the conservative super-majority on the Court, several of whom have ties to Luttig that stretch back decades. Justice Clarence Thomas, for instance, was personally shepherded through his contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings by Luttig in 1991. At the time, Luttig served as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel in George H. W. Bush’s Justice Department. After Thomas was confirmed, Luttig himself was sworn in to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit at the age of thirty-seven; he became, at that moment, the youngest federal appellate judge in the country.

Luttig’s ties to Chief Justice John Roberts also go back years. The two worked closely together in the Reagan Administration as young lawyers, both under the tutelage of then White House counsel Fred Fielding, and again together as lawyers in the George H. W. Bush Department of Justice. Later, in 2005, George W. Bush considered them simultaneously for a seat on the Supreme Court, which ultimately went to Roberts. The following month, Bush again considered Luttig for a Supreme Court seat but chose Samuel Alito. After establishing a reputation as a hard-right standard-bearer in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia on the appeals court, Luttig became the general counsel of Boeing; in 2020, he retired.

The evolution of Luttig’s political role since then has been remarkable. While some might assume that he has abandoned his conservative views, his position is more of a reflection of the radical changes that have overtaken the Republican Party. A judge who once represented the far-right pole in jurisprudence now looks like a throwback to an earlier age of G.O.P. probity and restraint. Ordinarily, Luttig told me, he wouldn’t get involved in a case like this. But Moore v. Harper, he explained, is the natural outgrowth of the extraordinary behind-the-scenes role he played in the final Götterdämmerung days of the Trump Presidency.

On the evening of January 4, 2021, Luttig was asked to weigh in as an emergency outside legal expert to Vice-President Mike Pence, whom Trump was pressuring not to certify Biden’s Electoral College victory. Luttig emphatically advised the Pence team that the Vice-President had no choice. The Constitution clearly stated that the Vice-President’s only role was ceremonial. Luttig stressed that Pence had to certify the 2020 Electoral College vote, in defiance of Trump’s attempted coup. But, in the early morning of January 5th, as the pressure from Trump continued to rise, Pence’s advisers contacted Luttig. They told him, while he was holed up in his vacation home in Colorado, that he needed to share with the American public his view that, under the Constitution, Pence had to certify Biden’s Electoral College win.

A retired sixty-six-year-old lawyer stuck in Colorado at the time, Luttig recalled telling Pence’s lawyer, “I don’t even have a job right now. I’m unemployed. . . . I don’t have a fax machine.” Eventually, Luttig decided he would tweet, but he told me he had no idea how to do so. He called his son, who works in tech, but he was too busy to explain, so he sent him Twitter’s online instructions. Luttig’s tweet, when it finally posted, was published on the Times Web site, and later quoted by Pence in his letter to Congress on January 6th, leading to the historic standoff between the President and Vice-President. Luttig’s role was crucial because of his unique standing. The lawyer who had improperly advised Trump that Pence had the legal power to delay, and perhaps overturn, the election, was one of Luttig’s own former law clerks: John Eastman. Eastman’s rogue legal theory was based, in part, on a fringe-right reading of the Constitution called the independent-state-legislature theory. Its proponents, including Eastman, claimed that state legislatures had the authority to reject the results of the 2020 election that were certified by other state officials and the courts. It wasn’t lost on those involved at the time that the majority of state legislatures were dominated by Trump’s Republican Party.

“The independent-state-legislature theory was the centerpiece of the former President’s effort to overturn the 2020 election,” Luttig told me. “In advising Vice-President Pence on January 6th, I concluded that there was no such doctrine of constitutional interpretation.” Luttig added,  . . .

Continue reading. (no paywall)

Written by Leisureguy

20 October 2022 at 10:08 am

Covid killing more Whites than Blacks

leave a comment »

In the Washington Post, Akilah Johnson and Dan Keating have a stunning article (gift link, no paywall) — I rate this one as a must-read. I recently discovered that gift links expire, so you can also use a no-paywall link to the archived article, but that version lacks photos and some charts. So use the gift link if it’s still active.

From the article:

After it became clear that communities of color were being disproportionately affected, racial equity started to become the parlance of the pandemic, in words and deeds. As it did, vaccine access and acceptance within communities of color grew — and so did the belief among some White conservatives, who form the core of the Republican base, that vaccine requirements and mask mandates infringe on personal liberties.

“Getting to make this decision for themselves has primacy over what the vaccine could do for them,” said Lisa R. Pruitt, a law professor at the University of California at Davis who is an expert in social inequality and the urban-rural divide. “They’re making a different calculus.”

It’s a calculation informed by the lore around self-sufficiency, she said, a fatalistic acceptance that hardships happen in life and a sense of defiance that has come to define the modern conservative movement’s antipathy toward bureaucrats and technocrats.

“I didn’t think that that polarization would transfer over to a pandemic,” Pruitt said.

It did.

A lifesaving vaccine and droplet-blocking masks became ideological Rorschach tests.

The impulse to frame the eradication of an infectious disease as a matter of personal choice cost the lives of some who, despite taking the coronavirus seriously, were surrounded by enough people that the virus found fertile terrain to sow misery. That’s what happened in northern Illinois, where a father watched his 40-year-old son succumb to covid-19.

And later:

Researchers at the University of Georgia found that White people who assumed the pandemic had a disparate effect on communities of color — or were told that it did — had less fear of being infected with the coronavirus, were less likely to express empathy toward vulnerable populations and were less supportive of safety measures, according to an article in Social Science & Medicine.

Perhaps, the report concludes, explaining covid’s unequal burden as part of an enduring legacy of inequality “signaled these disparities were not just transitory epidemiological trends, which could potentially shift and disproportionately impact White people in the future.”

Translation: Racial health disparities are part of the status quo.

And because of that, government efforts to bring a public health threat to heel are seen by some White Americans as infringing on their rights, researchers said.

“This is reflective of politics that go back to the 19th-century anxieties about federal overreach,” said Ayah Nuriddin, a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University who studies the history of medicine.

And later:

“We put it on Republicans and politics,” she said, “but I think we should dig deeper.”

That’s what Jonathan M. Metzl, director of Vanderbilt University’s Department of Medicine, Health, and Society, did for six years while researching his book “Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland.”

Published in 2019, it is a book about the politicization of public health and mistrust of medical institutions. It is a story about how communal values take a back seat to individuality. It’s an exploration of disinformation and how the fear of improving the lives of some means worsening the lives of others.

“I didn’t know it at the time, but I was writing a prehistory of the pandemic,” Metzl said in an interview. “You’re seeing a kind of dying-of-Whiteness phenomenon in the covid data that’s very similar to what I saw in my data.”

Metzl and Griffith, a Vanderbilt professor at the time, conducted focus groups on the Affordable Care Act throughout middle Tennessee including White and Black men who were 20 to 60 years old. Some were small-business owners and security guards. Others were factory workers and retirees.

The divergent medical experiences of Black and White patients permeated Metzl’s focus groups, particularly when the conversation veered toward the politics of health and government’s role in promoting well-being.

“Black men described precisely the same medical and economic stressors as did White men and detailed the same struggles to stay healthy,” Metzl wrote. “But Black men consistently differed from White men in how they conceived of government intervention and group identity. Whereas White men jumped unthinkingly to assumptions about ‘them,’ Black men frequently answered questions about health and health systems through the language of ‘us.’ ”

Tennessee has yet to expand Medicaid under the ACA, a decision fueling rural hospital closures at a rate that eclipses nearly every other state because there isn’t enough money to keep the doors open. Not only would expanding Medicaid have saved hospitals, Metzl wrote, it would have saved thousands of lives — White and Black.

There’s much more. Read the whole thing, either through a gift link or through a no-paywall link (though that link is missing photos and some charts, so the gift link is better — but the gift link expires).

Written by Leisureguy

19 October 2022 at 11:37 am

%d bloggers like this: