Friday, May 6, 2016

A Big Glass Of Nader Aid For The GOP

You can thank Ross Perot for screwing Poppy Bush over in 1992 to the point where Bill Clinton won states like Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Louisiana, Montana and West Virginia on the way to taking a 200 electoral vote win, and ol' Ross came back and did it again four years later to Bob Dole, handing Clinton an even larger re-election victory.

Oh please, please please please let a third party split the GOP and put another Clinton in the White House again 20 years later.

The clock is fast ticking down for a third-party run, at least when it comes to getting on the ballot in many states. Independent candidates running for president must file applications and petitions of support in Texas, which has 38 electoral votes, the second-most of any state, by May 9, according to the Texas secretary of state’s office. 
“It’s an uphill climb, everybody recognizes that, regardless of the route we go, but there are a lot of Republican donors sitting on the sidelines who would rather fund a third party than fund Donald Trump,” said Erickson, who said campaign finance experts within the movement estimate it will cost a minimum of $250 million to fund a third-party bid. 
But even if a third-party candidate failed to make the ballot in many states, the mere presence of a prominent alternative in the race could be enough to deny Trump the White House.

Conservatives have floated several names as a potential Trump spoiler. 
They include former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (R), who is poised to become the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee; former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who was long an outspoken conservative voice in Congress; and freshman Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who early Thursday morning posted on Facebook an open letter calling for a third-party option to Trump and Clinton.

National Review, a leading conservative publication, published a piece Thursday afternoon making the case for Johnson, praising him as a self-made businessman and a fiscal conservative who favors free trade and gun rights. 
“Everybody is looking at Gary Johnson right now to see where decides to settle on some of these issues,” Erickson said.

He added that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R), who dropped his bid for the GOP nomination earlier this year, “would be viable” as well.

Erickson said the key issue is abortion. Any candidate who will at least leave it to the states instead of the federal government to set abortion laws could draw strong support, he said. 
The biggest task ahead is finding a candidate whom conservatives can rally behind, and who has the stature needed to become a national candidate and take on Trump.

I can't begin to tell you how happy I'd be to see a Tea Party v Trump third party run, it would arguably give Clinton 538 electoral votes.  It would be amazing.

So go for it, guys.  Please.

NC Goes Down The Crapper

North Carolina Republicans are calling out federal Justice Department officials, saying they will openly defy a deadline to modify the state's HB2 "bathroom bill".  At stake: billions of dollars in federal Title IX funding for state schools and universities as lawmakers face civil rights violations.

The Republican leaders of North Carolina’s General Assembly defiantly announced Thursday that they would not meet a Monday deadline to suspend or repeal a state law limiting bathroom access for transgender people, setting up a potential legal showdown over what has become one of the nation’s most explosive cultural issues.

“We will take no action by Monday,” said Tim Moore, the speaker of the State House of Representatives, referring to the deadline the Justice Department gave the state to tell federal officials whether the law would stand. “That deadline will come and go.”

Though Mr. Moore criticized the deadline as “unreasonable,” he also seemed to signal that Republicans might eventually agree to alter the law, which forbids people to use public building restrooms that do not match the gender listed on their birth certificates.

“The legislative process doesn’t work where a response can be given by just a few days,” he said, “so we’re going to move at the speed that we’re going to move at to look at what our options are at this point.”

His comments, as well as a private meeting later with a leading critic of the law, Mayor Jennifer Roberts of Charlotte, were indications that lawmakers here may be concerned about the potentially damaging consequences of keeping the law intact and defying the Justice Department.

The Obama administration contends that the law violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and its finding could push the federal government to withhold in federal aid.

The law puts more than $4.8 billion in federal funding to state and local governments at risk, according to a recent analysis by the Williams Institute, a research organization at the University of California, Los Angeles, law school that focuses on sexual orientation and gender identity law. The bulk of those losses would be from education funds, though the state could also lose money for career services, health care, housing and other purposes.

$5 billion is real money folks, and I'm not sure what's going to happen to my home state if the feds make good on this threat.  This leverage is there for a reason, but ten million people in North Carolina are going to be hurt if this happens. That's $500 a person roughly, and that's not trivial, especially in the poorer parts of the Tarheel State.

Beyond that, the political fallout isn't going to be fun either.  We'll see which side the voters blame for this, the Obama administration or GOP Gov. Pat McCrory and the NC GOP.  A major court battle isn't out of the question either, so this could drag on for years, especially if McCrory wins re-election in November and voters keep the NC GOP in power.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Last Call For The Trump Chumps

Politico's Nick Gass calls out the major pundits who (unlike yours truly, I might add) completely dismissed Donald Trump as a threat last year and gave him no chance of winning the nomination, predicting time and again that Trump would lose.

The list of failed pundits is impressive: both Five Thirty Eight's Nate Silver and Harry Enten, CNN's Stuart Stevens, Bloomberg's Jon Bernstein, NY Times Nate Cohn, and conservative columnists Ross Douthat and of course, Bloody Bill Kristol, were all wrong again.

What Gass doesn't talk about is why these pundits were wrong, and that's the real story.

You see, what all these super-smart white guys missed, or more likely refused to see, is the seething racism that has driven the GOP in the Age of Obama.  What Trump offered was, simply, vengeance against those people who elected Obama in 2008.

Deport the Muslims, deport the Mexicans, get the jobs back, stick it to China, build the wall, all this was done to make white guys feel like they should be back on top again, where they belong.  It's not "nationalism", Trump absolutely wants America to be the top dog again in the military world, and has time and again talked about using force all the way up to nuclear weapons to deal with ISIS. Likewise, it's not "populism" either as he all but ignored the hot button Republican social wedge issues like gay marriage, abortion, and transphobia.

No, where the pundits missed everything was refusing to acknowledge Trump's combination white supremacy/prosperity gospel ticket, where Trump was literally The Rich White Guy Who Can Solve Our Problems and they all ignored the racism dripping from Trump's words from day one.  Those of us who immediately pegged Trump's real slogan as "Make America White Again" knew exactly what was going on, but the pundit corps had to tie themselves in knots trying to justify Trump's appeal without calling him a racist.

You take the racism out of Trump's pitch, he's just the Caddyshack version of Mitt Romney. And Mitt Romney is a loser.  That's why they all predicted his demise, because who wants to admit that tens of millions of Americans are racist assholes in 2016 who are super cool with "Hey let's deport people for being Hispanic or Muslim"?

So they invented reasons on paper why Trump was winning, the plaintive bleating about "working class America" which was all nonsense, for example.  It had to be something other than race, otherwise you'd basically be accusing the Republican party of being a bunch of racists.

Hey guess what, America? The Republican party is a bunch of racists, and Donald Trump neatly proves that theory.

So let's stop pretending otherwise. Let's stop pretending that openly using the Southern Strategy in 2016 was somehow not the difference in giving Trump the nomination and dispatching his opponents, because Trump had the balls to actually say what the racist base of the GOP wanted him to say: that black folks and Muslims and Hispanic folks and LGBTQ folks and all of those people needed to be put in our respective places, with rich straight white guys on top of the food chain again, unopposed.

Trump was inevitable, as Dave von Ebers said on Wednesday:

The GOP was always going to disgorge someone out like Trump to vote for. And here he is, a couple of months out from being the President.  This is where the GOP nominee is here in 2016.

Police are trying to determine whether a notorious white supremacist left threatening leaflets on vehicles in a Sacramento neighborhood. 
The leaflets warned against “white genocide” — a white nationalist slogan — and threatened targeted violence against Muslims and Hispanics, reported the Sacramento Bee
The fliers urged “white resistance groups and lone wolves” to activate the “hundred little death camp policy” and begin slaughtering Muslims and Latinos in the U.S., Europe and Russia. 
“If you have not secured a body dump-site, do so now!” the leaflets warn. “Kidnap, rob, torture for information and execute all Muslims and Latinos. Leave no survivors.”

This is what the pundits didn't want to see when they "missed" Trump's rise.  Remember that.

Worst Kasich Scenario: The Aftermath

The Cincinnati Enquirer's Chrissie Thompson lays out the campaign epitaph of Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich, who was the last man standing between Donald Trump and the Republican nomination in Cleveland in July.

When John Kasich first was deciding to run for president, he continually told advisers: “I don’t want to embarrass myself.”

Did he, or did he not? The question, and its impact on Kasich’s legacy, lingers now that Kasich has removed himself from the Republican race, leaving Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee.

You can point to how the Ohio governor entered as the 16th of 17 major GOP candidates and outlasted all but one. How he and his allies defeated or outlasted several opponents who outspent them by more than $100 million each. And how when he launched his campaign, his national GOP polling total was within the margin of error – statistically a zero. Yet by springtime, he consistently polled as the only Republican ahead of Democrat Hillary Clinton in general election matchups.

For a few hours, Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, Kasich had the one-on-one match with Trump he had always wanted. And the general election polls seemed to show the presidency, for decades an ultimate goal, was nearly within his grasp.

But look at it from the other side.

Kasich started fading from the national consciousness weeks ago. He only won one state, his native Ohio; only picked up nine delegates after that March 15 win; only won 153 delegates total, to Trump’s 1,053 and counting. He talked of fighting for the soul of the Republican Party, yet his backers comprised the GOP of yesteryear, without many current leaders in the mix. For the last couple of months, Kasich's only hope of becoming president was helping to keep Trump from winning the nomination outright, forcing a contested convention, where he hoped to lure delegates to his side.

While some clung to Kasich as the last hope for an inclusive, pragmatic Republican Party, calling Trump a demagogue and Ted Cruz an extremist, the collective Republican voting base shrugged. Kasich’s message failed to win them. So on Wednesday evening, he suspended his presidential campaign.

“The spirit, the essence of America, lies in the hearts and souls of us. You see, some missed this message. It wasn’t sexy. It wasn’t a great soundbite,” Kasich said. “As I suspend my campaign today, I have renewed faith, deeper faith, that the Lord will show me the way forward and fulfill the purpose of my life."

The fact that Kasich was considered in any way a moderate Republican shows just how awful the GOP clate of nominees were.  Kasich made it very clear he wanted to do to the nation what he has wanted to do to Ohio: eliminate the last vestiges of public unions, drive abortion clinics out of business with TRAP laws, slash spending for the most vulnerable citizens and most depressing, force the US into eliminating deficit spending with a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that would effectively destroy the country's economy, starting with the safety net programs of Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.

For this, he was considered a "moderate" Republican instead of a lunatic.

And yet for the GOP Kasich wasn't nearly awful enough to consider voting for.  Ironically, he would have fared the best in the general out of virtually all of the GOP nominees, arguably beating Clinton handily and giving Sanders by far his toughest opponent, but the GOP of Trump wanted nothing to do with him in the end.

So, Kasich will serve out his second term an simply wreck the Buckeye State instead as Ohio continues its descent into Red State madness and total Republican control instead.

That's Kasich's real legacy, and it's abhorrent.

Water Water Everywhere...

...but not a safe drop to drink in Flint, Michigan as President Obama visited the embattled city yesterday in order to let residents know that America will fix the problem.

Obama used his visit to the crisis-stricken city of 100,000 residents to promote the use of lead-removing faucet filters in an effort to bring some calm among residents distrustful of government.

“Although I understand the fear and concern that people have, and it is entirely legitimate, what the science tells us at this stage is you should not drink any of the water that is not filtered but if you get the filter and use it properly, that water can be consumed,” Obama said in a speech at Northwestern High School. “That’s information that I trust and I believe.”

But trust was in short supply among some Flint residents in the crowd of 1,100 that packed into Northwestern High School, many of whom booed Gov. Rick Snyder when he appeared before the president in an impromptu attempt to apologize for the public health crisis.

“When our filtered water smells like bleach, there’s no way possible it’s safe to drink,” said Lulu Brezzell, the mother of Amaryana Copeny, the 9-year-old girl known as “Little Miss Flint” who is credited with getting Obama to visit Flint. “There are so many more issues than just lead.”

Can you blame them?  Republicans made sure government doesn't work in state after state, of course people don't trust local and state governments anymore when they can't provide clean water and other basic necessities.

Obama said the Flint water crisis is the result of a limited government ideology that is as “corrosive” as the city’s river water that caused lead to leach from aging pipelines.

In a veiled shot at Republicans who run Michigan’s government and Congress, Obama said the lead-contaminated water is the product of “a corrosive attitude that exists in our politics and exists in too many levels of government.”

“That attitude is as corrosive to our democracy as the stuff that resulted in lead in your water,” Obama told Flint residents.

Obama made the comments during a speech in the city on Wednesday, a few hours after he drank filtered Flint water after a briefing by federal officials on the city’s lead-contaminated water.

The president’s hour-long speech was sometimes comedic but mostly sobering. While the commander-in-chief is popular in Flint, he was mostly greeted with silence from the crowd when he encouraged them to drink filtered water.

At one point during the speech, Obama requested a glass of filtered water. A few minutes later, after the water had not arrived, the president coughed and said: “I really did need a glass of water. This is not a stunt.”

The president vouched for the safety of certified filters and encouraged most city residents to start drinking filtered water instead of bottled water.

The reality is that months, if not years after President Obama is out of office, American cities like Flint will still have massive infrastructure problems because Republicans assure we cannot and will not spend the money needed to fix the problem.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Last Call For Class(less) Warfare

With John Kasich dropping out of the 2016 race and leaving Donald Trump as the GOP nominee,
Nate Silver puts a definitive end to the ridiculous notion that Trump's rise was ever about "working class anger".

It’s been extremely common for news accounts to portray Donald Trump’s candidacy as a “working-class” rebellion against Republican elites. There are elements of truth in this perspective: Republican voters, especially Trump supporters, are unhappy about the direction of the economy. Trump voters have lower incomes than supporters of John Kasich or Marco Rubio. And things have gone so badly for the Republican “establishment” that the party may be facing an existential crisis
But the definition of “working class” and similar terms is fuzzy, and narratives like these risk obscuring an important and perhaps counterintuitive fact about Trump’s voters: As compared with most Americans, Trump’s voters are better off. The median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000, based on estimates derived from exit polls and Census Bureau data. That’s lower than the $91,000 median for Kasich voters. But it’s well above the national median household income of about $56,000. It’s also higher than the median income for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, which is around $61,000 for both.

In other words, the people putting Donald Trump up as a "new" voice for America's middle class are delusional.

Trump voters’ median income exceeded the overall statewide median in all 23 states, sometimes narrowly (as in New Hampshire or Missouri) but sometimes substantially. In Florida, for instance, the median household income for Trump voters was about $70,000, compared with $48,000 for the state as a whole. The differences are usually larger in states with substantial non-white populations, as black and Hispanic voters are overwhelmingly Democratic and tend to have lower incomes. In South Carolina, for example, the median Trump supporter had a household income of $72,000, while the median for Clinton supporters was $39,000. 
Ted Cruz voters have a similar median income to Trump supporters — about $73,000. Kasich’s supporters have a very high median income, $91,000, and it has exceeded $100,000 in several states. Rubio’s voters, not displayed in the table above, followed a similar pattern to Kasich voters, with a median income of $88,000. 
Many of the differences reflect that Republican voters are wealthier overall than Democratic ones, and also that wealthier Americans are more likely to turn out to vote, especially in the primaries. However, while Republican turnout has considerably increased overall from four years ago, there’s no sign of a particularly heavy turnout among “working-class” or lower-income Republicans. On average in states where exit polls were conducted both this year and in the Republican campaign four years ago, 29 percent of GOP voters have had household incomes below $50,000 this year, compared with 31 percent in 2012.

So no, it's not about working-class voters at all.  It's about angry voters who are buying Trump's nasty message about bigotry, racism, and Islamophobia.

This is now the Republican party.

It was never about class.  It is about putting those people in their rightful place, beneath Trump and his supporters, in America's power structure.

Brick House Fight

The White House is set to announce in June that part of Greenwich Village near the iconic Stonewall Inn will be designated as a national monument dedicated to the modern gay rights movement.

President Obama is poised to declare the first-ever national monument recognizing the struggle for gay rights, singling out a sliver of green space and part of the surrounding Greenwich Village neighborhood as the birthplace of America’s modern gay liberation movement.

While most national monuments have highlighted iconic wild landscapes or historic sites from centuries ago, this reflects the country’s diversity of terrain and peoples in a different vein: It would be the first national monument anchored by a dive bar, surrounded by a warren of narrow streets that long has been regarded the historic center of gay cultural life in New York.

Federal officials, including Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, National Park Service director Jonathan B. Jarvis and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), will hold a listening session on May 9 to solicit feedback on the proposal. Barring a last-minute complication--city officials are still investigating the history of the land title--Obama is prepared to designate the area part of the National Park Service as soon as next month, which commemorates gay pride.

The protests at the site, which lasted for several days, started in the early morning of June 28, 1969 after police raided the Stonewall Inn, which was frequented by gay men. While patrons of the bar, which is still in operation today, had complied in the past with these crackdowns, that time it sparked a spontaneous riot by both bystanders and those who had been detained.

While national monument designations are partly symbolic, backers of the move said it could bolster the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, which led to the landmark 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

I really do love me some last year Obama.

Trumpmare Scenario

People are, at best, lukewarm when it comes to Hillary Clinton, this is true.

But people completely hate Donald Trump, as Greg Sargent tells us.

And a new CNN poll out this morning underscores how deeply flawed a nominee he is likely to prove. The poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Trump nationally by 54-41. 
But more important, the new CNN poll finds Trump is viewed unfavorably by 64 percent of women; 73 percent of nonwhites; 70 percent of voters under 35; 67 percent of college graduates; and 57 percent of moderates. Those are mostly constituencies the GOP had hoped to improve among. And while it’s often rightly pointed out that Clinton is disliked, she fares substantially better than he does among most of those particular groups, who will be pivotal to Clinton’s hopes of reconstituting the Obama coalition this fall. 
And on top of all this, the CNN poll shows that Trump is also viewed unfavorably by 37 percent of conservatives, suggesting the possibility that some might potentially support a third party challenger, or if no such challenge materializes, at least stay home. 
Obviously those numbers could change over time. But Trump — who is plainly susceptible to allowing the giddy highs of victory to cloud his capacity to reason — is not showing any awarenessthat the general election audience might see his antics differently than GOP primary voters do. And if Trump’s numbers among key voter groups, including conservatives, continue to tank — which could very well happen, once Democrats get serious about unleashing a sustained national attack on him — that could pose a stark choice for GOP officials and Republican lawmakers up for reelection amid a presidential year electorate, in states carried by Obama.

If even half of those 37% of conservatives don't vote for Trump, on top of the rest of those number, he's done.  Like, Hillary Clinton gets 400+ electoral votes in November done.

And I can see that happening, given Trump has six more months to open his mouth and keep making things worse for himself.

Donald Trump stood by his call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. Wednesday, saying he doesn’t care if it hurts him in the general election. 
“I don’t care if it hurts me,” the presumptive GOP nominee said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Wednesday. “I’m doing the right thing when I do this. And whether it’s Muslim or whether it’s something else, I mean, I have to do the right thing and that’s the way I’ve been guided.”

“And I've been guided by common sense, by what's right," he continued. "And you see what's happening. We have to be careful. I mean, we're allowing thousands of people to come into our country, thousands and thousands of people being placed all over the country that frankly nobody knows who they are. They don't have documentation in many cases — in most cases. And we don't know what we're doing.”

Please proceed, jackass.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Last Call For Reality Setting In

With Trump's win in Indiana tonight and Ted Cruz dropping out of the race, Matt Yglesias reminds us that the final stage of Republican 2016 grief is the acceptance that Trump is their nominee, and the the party is now that of racist, bigoted ultra-nationalist assholes.  The problem, and why the Republicans are headed off the cliff, is that Republicans don't see their racism as an issue.

The Trump phenomenon is confounding many people because, on the one hand, it seems impossible to many that the Republican Party would nominate such a weak general election candidate, while it seems impossible to many others that Donald Trump could be such a strong candidate. 
So let's be clear about this. Trump is, by every sign available, a historically weak general election candidate. 
His unfavorable numbers are off the charts, he is losing to Hillary Clinton in every head-to-head poll, and his policy proposals are going to attract a level of media scrutiny that Republican nominees normally avoid because conservative intellectuals have spent a lot of time dumping on them over the past five months. 
At the same time, Republicans aren't going to let these facts stop him from being their nominee. 
It turns out that party elites have less sway over the nominating process than many of us thought 12 months ago. In particular, I would say it turns out that the commercial right-of-center mass media — especially Fox News and talk radio but also the Breitbart corner of the internet — is simply not that invested in what party elites think or want. Trump is not liked by a majority of Americans, but he is certainly a compelling television character, and catering to the minority taste for Trumpism has proven to be an effective business strategy. 
Given his ability to attract copious quantities of free media and his personal wealth, Trump can overcome the disadvantages of being disliked by the party's professional operative class and leverage his grassroots popularity to victory.

Never before have we seen a candidate so absolutely suited to winning a party primary that could not win the general.

If you want to understand what's going on with Trump, I think you can't do much better than to look at this 2015 poll from the Public Religion Research Institute, which reveals a huge partisan gap on a pretty basic question — is racism against white people a bigger problem than racism against racial minority groups? 
Republicans said yes; Democrats and independents said no:

Public Religion Research Institute 

This is why Trump's Republican opponents haven't made the obvious criticism of him that he's running a campaign based on racial demagoguery. 
To Republican primary voters, it's not obvious that racist demagoguery is a bad thing. Or, at a minimum, it seems like a less pernicious thing than the apparently pervasive discrimination against white people in American society.

The Republicans have become the party of "straight white men are the real victims here!" and the rest of us are just going to vote them into the garbage can.

We still have to actually execute the plan, but it's going to happen.

A House Is Two-Thirds Of A Home

One of the very real issues of the last eight years is the fact that the recovery has passed black America by, and nowhere is that more evident than in Atlanta, where even in wealthy, professional neighborhoods, home prices have cratered after the 2006 housing bubble exploded and have yet to recover ten years later...unlike Atlanta's white neighborhoods now in the midst of a renaissance. Black professionals like Wayne Early and David Sands want answers as to why that's happening in DeKalb County.

Nationwide, home values in predominantly African American neighborhoods have been the least likely to recover. Across the 300 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, homes in 4 out of 10 Zip codes where blacks are the largest population group are worth less than they were in 2004. That’s twice the rate for mostly white Zip codes across the country. Across metropolitan Atlanta, nearly 9 in 10 largely black Zip codes still have home values below that point 12 years ago. 
And in South DeKalb, the collapse has been even worse. In some Zip codes, home values are still 25 percent below what they were then. Families here, who’ve lost their wealth and had their life plans scrambled, see neighborhoods in the very same county — mostly white neighborhoods — thriving. 
“I don’t think it’s anything local residents did that caused that to happen,” Early says. “I think it’s all outside forces that did this.” 
The region reflects the complex ways that housing and race have long been intertwined in America. Across the country, blacks are less likely to own homes; those who did were more likely during the housing bust to slip underwater; and as a result, a larger share of black wealth has been destroyed in the years since then. 
These disparities, though, are not simply about income, about higher poverty levels among blacks, or lower-quality homes where they live, according to economists who have studied the region. The disparities exist in places, like neighborhoods in South DeKalb County, where black families make six-figure incomes.

I've talked about the destruction of black wealth before, but in Atlanta the numbers and the evidence are both brutal reminders that race is still an issue in America.  These are black folks who made it, doctors, engineers, regional managers, lawyers, and small business owners, who find that in their neighborhoods their homes are worth 40% less than their white counterparts.  Still.

“It just does not make sense,” says Sands, a retired Air Force information manager with two grown children, sitting in his living room with Early. The two men co-chair a housing committee for the local community improvement association that is researching what’s wrong with housing values. “You’ve got doctors, lawyers, teachers, all kinds of professional people, retired military like myself, who’ve done everything right — everything right — and it never seems to work out in our favor,” Sands says. “We’re not talking about people who got fraudulent loans, who didn’t have jobs to pay for them.” 
There’s something fundamentally unfair about that, he and Early believe, about all the African Americans here who got the education, to get the job, to buy the home, to create the wealth, to sustain their families — only to fall behind anyway
“Some people are going to have issues,” Sands says. They miss the good interest rates, or have the misfortune of living near a foreclosured home, or they bear the brunt of a change in lending policy. Of his black neighbors, Sands says: “We are always ‘some people.’ ”

And so it goes.  But what about black migration away from the South?  Certainly as openly hostile Republican red states make it clear that black people are less than welcome, raw supply and demand can explain the drop in prices, right?

Not in Atlanta.  In fact, not in the South, where black families are relocating away from the Rust Belt and the Midwest back to southern states specifically for more reasonable housing prices than in places like San Francisco and New York City.

Where else are black Americans moving? One destination dominates: the South. A century ago, blacks were leaving the South to go north and west; today, they are reversing that journey, in what the Manhattan Institute's Daniel DiSalvo dubbed “The Great Remigration.” DiSalvo found that black Americans now choose the South in pursuit of jobs, lower costs and taxes, better public services (notably, schools) and sunny weather for retirement. 
Historically, Southern blacks lived in rural areas. A large rural black population remains in the South today, often living in the same types of conditions as rural whites, which is to say, under significant economic strain. But the new black migrants to the South are increasingly flocking to the same metro areas that white people are — especially Atlanta, the new cultural and economic capital of black America, with a black population of nearly 2 million. The Atlanta metro area, one-third black, continues to add more black residents (150,000 since 2010) than any other region.
Again, these are highly-paid professionals here having these issues, they are in neighborhoods with low crime, good schools, and plenty of access to Atlanta's highways, shopping, and other amenities. The only difference is race, and it's costing them tens of thousands of dollars, maybe even six figures in home value.

But you tell me what the problem is if it isn't related to race.

Dispatches From Bevinstan, Con't

In a move that should surprise precisely no one in this bass-ackwards state, it looks like the statue honoring Confederate "heroes" in Louisville will remain standing until the issue of removing it goes through the courts.

A Kentucky judge issued a restraining order on Monday preventing city officials from removing a 70-foot-tall Confederate statue from its site near the University of Louisville campus, after one critic equated its removal to "a book burning."

The order was filed by a colorful cast of characters including GOP congressional candidate Everett Corley and the “Chief of Heritage Defense” for the Kentucky Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal
Corley, who was endorsed in a failed 2014 House bid by the white nationalist American Freedom Party and is currently running in the GOP primary to challenge Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), told the paper that the restraining order was “about respecting veterans.” 
Removing the statue, Corley told the Courier-Journal, was a “political version of book burning. And the fact is, I’m not in favor of book burning.” 
Thomas McAdam, an attorney for the plaintiffs, also accused Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the University of Louisville of censorship. 
“All we want is a fair hearing, all we want is to let the people know that this is part of our heritage, and you can't just erase history by tearing down monuments,” McAdam told the Courier-Journal. “That's what the Taliban does, that's what ISIS does. We don't do that in America." 

Welcome to Bevinstan, where the state gladly celebrates college basketball, Noah's Ark and losing the Civil War (sometimes even in that order.)


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